The tables have turned for the 21-year-old swimming sensation Chad Le Clos. From being a teenager with a dream inspired by Michael Phelps, to a five-time medallist at the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore in 2010 and last year, an Olympic champion at London 2012, the South African is now inspiring the next generation of swimmers himself.
This was clear for all to see during Chad’s first visit to Rio, in March, where the next Summer Olympic Games will take place in 2016. Invited to participate in a swimming masterclass for local youngsters, the YOG graduate was joined by his inspiration, YOG Ambassador Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time, and 10-time Brazilian Paralympic champion Daniel Dias at the Rocinha Sports Centre in Rio’s largest favela.
Following Chad’s epic victory at the London 2012 Olympic Games, where he claimed the gold medal over his role model in the men’s 200m butterfly, the swimmer remains level-headed and doesn’t forget where it all started. Admitting that expectations for him in Rio 2016 are high, Chad re-iterates that “the Youth Olympic Games were a huge-stepping stone” for him, and helped him enormously in preparing for his first Olympic Games in London.