YOG ambassador Chad Le Clos answers your questions
On 20 August, Youth Olympic Games ambassador Chad Le Clos took a Q&A session with his fans on the YOG Facebook page.
Excited at the prospect of fielding questions from the page’s 97,251 followers, the reigning Olympic and world 200m butterfly champion was online at 21:00, ready to share his thoughts and advice with fans right across the globe. Here’s what the South African swimming star had to say in answer to your questions:
How do you overcome bad time in your sports life?
I think the best way is to have strong family and strong friends. For me it was always my family. They were always there when times were tough. I could always ask them for advice.
What do the Youth Olympic Games mean to you, Chad?
The Youth Olympic Games are very special to me. Because of the first international medal that I won 4 years ago in Singapore. To come back as an ambassador is a huge honour. It's a stepping stone. That's what it means to me.
Do you think there is a formula in creating champion athletes in any sport he/she is into?
To be a champion you have to have talent, hard work and dedication, a good support team around you. You have to want it more than anything else to get to the top. There are a lot of sacrifices you have to make. I think it’s just who wants it more when you get to that Olympic final.
Hey Chad, which other sports do you like to practise?
Football. That's my first love. Unfortunately I don't play any other sports. If you are a swimmer you need to be focused on your sport. I play a lot of FIFA.
Hey Chad! What is the best tip you can give to aspiring swimmers? One other thing: how do you cope with endless hours of the black strip at the bottom of the pool? How do you make the training fun?
Never give up on your dreams. It was rough in the beginning. I always wanted to be an Olympic champion one day. I never quit. I never let anyone tell me I couldn't do it. There are a lot of hurdles and ups and downs along the way. You got to get through them. When you are training you got to believe that you are going to be an Olympic champion.
On the black strip – it's a tough one. I didn't think about it too much after London, after I took a break for three months. When I came back I realised how hard it was. When you are swimming so well you don't think about it. It's when you are injured or when you are sick or when you come back and you have had a bad race is when you think about the black line and how many lengths you actually do. The way you get through it is setting goals. I make the training fun with games and jokes. You got to make it fun and play jokes with everyone.