More gold: Chad shows off birthday ‘bling’ ring

2013-04-13 00:00

SWIMMING sensation Chad le Clos celebrated his 21st birthday in Umhlanga yesterday and received a specially made ring.

The London Olympic gold medallist was fêted by a few family members, including father Bert and young brother Jordan (14).

Le Clos said he would hold off on the big celebrations as he tries to qualify for the world championships in Spain in July.

He would have two parties — planned by his sister Bianca Matos — to celebrate his 21st properly later this month.

“From next week, I’m competing in Port Elizabeth as I try to qualify for Spain, and then I’m on holiday for a week in Mozambique,” he told Weekend Witness.

“On the 26th [of April], I’ll be having a party for my fans in Johannesburg. At the moment, I’m not sure where it will be. On the 27th, I’ll have a big party at Czar [in Florida Road in Durban].

“From 7 pm to 10.30 pm, it will be a private party with just my family.

“I have a huge family, if you know what I mean. I have, like, 150 people in my family.”

From 10.30 pm onwards, he said, the party would be open to anyone who wanted to attend.

Bert le Clos said the invitees included sponsors and sportsmen from around the province.

“We started off with just 150 people, now we’re at 330. Some people are coming in from overseas.”

Le Clos was given a ring that was created by his cousin, Andrey Riet-hoven, who is a Durban diamond seller, with the help of David Batchelor.

The ring, which Riethoven referred to as “bling for our fly [butterfly] king”, is a creation in 18-carat yellow and white gold set with 101 round diamonds.

“This one is for good luck,” he added. It is valued at around R50 000.

Congratulating Le Clos on his 21st, his brother Jordan said: “I wish him well for the 2016 Olympics.”

The teenager said he enjoyed having a role model like his brother.

“He helps me a lot in the water. If he sees me doing something wrong, he’ll help me … the small things.”

Jordan said his biggest dream was to swim alongside his big brother in the 2020 Olympics.

Le Clos said: “It would be awesome … He needs the will to succeed, but I think he has got it.”

Lunga Lamula, eThekwini Municipality’s project manager for the Transplant Games to be held in Durban at the end of July, of which Le Clos is an ambassador, wished him many more great years.

“I hope he achieves more … and I hope he keeps his feet on the ground, as he has done,” said Lamula.

He said Le Clos had put KwaZulu-Natal and Durban on the map.

“Children from all over are now looking up to him and he has handled himself well. He understands his stature as an iconic person.”

Le Clos is also to write a tell-all book to be published by Penguin Books SA next year.

The book will be titled Unbelievable, which was Bert’s joyous reaction, in an interview, to his son’s Olympics win. The interview became an Internet hit.

Le Clos said in a statement released by Penguin: “I’m aiming for it to be an inspiring read that will motivate the reader to know that nothing is impossible!”

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