Ryk turned down TV for Beijing glory

2008-07-25 00:00

One of America’s most-popular reality TV programmes, The Bachelor, approached South African swimming hero Ryk Neethling (30) to take part.

The programme aims to give a bachelor the chance to choose from a group of young women with a view to forming a long-term relationship.

But Olympic gold is more seductive than Hollywood’s glitter, and Neethling turned the offer down.

The filming will begin in the U.S. in September.

Neethling said he is not prepared to return to the U.S. after the Olympic Games in Beijing. “I just want to go back to South Africa,” he said.

Neethling was a member of South Africa’s gold medal-winning 4x100 metres freestyle relay team in Athens in 2004.

He has been training in Tucson, Arizona. He left for South Korea on Thursday to take part in a training camp where South Africa’s swimmers will compete for a place in the Olympic relay team.

He said: “I’m looking forward to Beijing. I’m going to go all out.”

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