SA sporting icon Oscar Chalupsky battling cancer, tests negative for Covid-19

Oscar Chalupsky, without question one of South Africa's most successful ever sportsmen, is currently engaged in the toughest battle of his life.

A renowned paddler, surfski paddler and kayaker, Chalupsky, now 57, competed at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona in the K-4 1 000m. He is also a 12-time Molokai world surfski champion, the last win of which came in 2012 - at age 49 - an incredible 29 years after his first victory.

In 1979 he became the youngest ever South African to represent his country in lifesaving, while in his final year at school at Westville Boys' High School in 1980 he represented the Natal schools rugby team at Craven Week.

He also received South African colours for waterpolo and lifesaving, and became the first person ever to win both the junior and senior men's Ironman titles.

However, in late 2019, Chalupsky was diagnosed with cancer.

After battling the disease with his usual fierce determination, a fever earlier in the week saw Chalupsky check into hospital for a series of tests, one of which was for Covid-19.

Thankfully, that test came back negative.

Chalupsky will remain in hospital until the fever - which peaked at 39.9 degrees - is brought under control.

Writing on his Twitter page, Chalupsky said: #Day61OfLockDownthis lockdown is far worse then my spot. My Covid19 test came back negative ??. Now have to get over the fever which got to 39.9 degrees. If all goes well then harvest tomorrow. #hospital #Cancer #multiplemyeloma

Messages of support streamed in for Chalupsky, one of which came from former Springbok legend and cancer survivor, Rob Louw, who wrote: Don’t over exercise and compromise that immune system!i did the same after my treatment trying to do the Cape Argus cycle race !take it easy bud and build up that immune system.

Former Proteas spinner Pat Symcox also offered his well wishes, with: Hang tough bud!!

From the entire Sport24 team, wishing you everything of the best, Oscar. Can't wait to see you back on the water again.

- Compiled by Garrin Lambley

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