Chad’s in le Clos of his own

2011-11-19 15:51

Had it not been for a groin injury he sustained three years ago, swimming phenomenon Chad le Clos might have pursued his ambition of becoming a professional soccer player.

“Soccer was my first love and I enjoyed playing on the left wing until a groin injury forced me out of the game in 2008,” said Le Clos, who hauled in 35 medals during the seven-meet series of the Fina Swimming World Cup.

The 19-year-old represented KwaZulu-Natal at under-12 level in soccer.

He continued: “During my days as a soccer player, my teammates used to call me ‘Touch’ because I have a touch of blonde hair on my forehead which is a birth mark. But now swimming is my favourite sport.”

He is the only professional sportsman in the family of four children – three boys and a girl.

“My younger brother Jordan (13) is still enjoying a variety of sports, including swimming.”

Le Clos – from Glenwood in Durban – matriculated last year but said he put his post-matric studies on hold to focus on his swimming career.

“I still want to study sports science and do a bit of journalism. But I’ll get that plan back on track after the Olympics (in London next year).”

He said part of the $100?000 (about R818?000) he won last weekend for being the world’s best will go towards funding his studies.

When he is not in the pool, Le Clos spends quality time with his parrot “Lolly”.

“I have had him for eight years and I teach him some new words every day. I love animals.”

Having only obtained his driver’s licence in May, Le Clos said he was hopeful he would receive a car sponsorship offer soon.
“I am not fussy about the make or the model, as long as it is sponsored.”

It has been a hectic week for the former Westville Boys High pupil.

“My phone doesn’t stop ringing. There were all sorts of interview requests but I made a point of visiting my old school, Penzance Primary. I went there to thank them for their continuous support.”

His Team SA blazer from the 2010 Commonwealth Games in India can be seen on display at the Glenwood-based school.

As part of his celebrations, Le Clos said he will throw a big party for friends and family.

His favourite food is pap and steak. “And my dad makes a good steak,” he said.

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