Monaco princess-to-be swims Midmar Mile for charity

The South African-born future princess of Monaco is a former Olympic swimmer, but she says a weekend swim in her homeland to raise money for the Special Olympics won’t be easy.

Charlene Wittstock spoke to reporters today, ahead of participating in the Midmar Mile charity event this weekend.

It is swum in a dam near the eastern port city of Durban.

“It’s my first open water dam swim. I think it will be a challenge,” said Wittstock, who swam for South Africa at the Sydney Olympics in 2000.

In the 1999 All Africa Games, she won gold in the 100-metre freestyle.

“I’m not here to swim competitively,” she said, dressed casually in jeans and strappy sandals. “I’m not swimming in my age group. I’m swimming alongside Special Olympians to raise funds.”

Wittstock will wed Prince Albert II of Monaco in July.

The couple met during a 2000 swimming competition in Monaco and they have been seen regularly together in public since 2006. They announced their engagement in June.

Today, she raised R16 500 rand for her cause at a charity breakfast.

She also cut the ribbon to open a refurbished pool at a Pietermaritzburg school just outside of Durban.

She told students she hoped an Olympian would emerge from the pool.

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