Le Clos family ecstatic as Chad equals Games record

2014-07-31 00:00

ANOTHER major meet, another piece of history.

That is the story of Durban swimming sensation Chad le Clos, whose seven podiums in Glasgow equalled the all-time record for medals won at a single Commonwealth Games.

Le Clos was on a flight back to South Africa via Dubai yesterday, but his proud parents Bert and Geraldine were soaking up the Glasgow experience a while longer. They leave today, knowing that their 22-year-old son is on course to becoming one of the greatest swimmers of all time.

“It was unbelievable,” Bert, a man of few words, told The Witness in what has now become standard fashion. “He’s a special boy. In his last race [4x100 m medley relay] he was exhausted. It was his heart and his head that got him over the line.”

While Chad’s star continues to rise, Bert’s isn’t doing too badly either. After his infamous “unbelievable” interview at the London 2012 Olympics, Bert became a mini-celebrity in Britain, and that is showing no sign of slowing down — certainly not while Chad continues to make a splash in the pool.

“It’s bigger now than it was before,” Bert said of his own celebrity status.

And he can’t be wrong, because the Commonwealth organisers got him to officially open Tuesday night’s final day of swimming action. Microphone in hand and with all eyes turned his way, Bert counted down the start of the action after a short message.

What followed was another night of Le Clos hogging the headlines.

Le Clos’s career has been a fairy-tale up until this point, and that looks set to continue a while longer.

“We are just so very proud of him,” Geraldine said from Glasgow yesterday.

“He sets these goals for himself and keeps achieving them.”

As thrilled as the Le Closes were, there was to be no celebrating on Tuesday night. Apparently screaming and shouting on the side of the pool also takes its physical toll after seven finals.

“By the end, it was all catching up on us a little bit,” said Geraldine. “It was a glass of wine and then bed.”

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