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Chad le Clos talks about his role model, Michael Phelps, in an interview with Talk Radio 702‘s Jenny Crwys-Williams.
Le Clos recalls the first time he saw Phelps swim, at the Atlanta Olympic Games in 2004. Eight years later, at the 2012 Olympics in London, Le Clos beat his childhood hero – who was the world number one at the time – in the 200 metres butterfly final, which is documented in his memoir, Unbelievable!
“The first time I watched Phelps swim was in 2004, Athens, so I was eleven years old, and that’s when I decided I wanted to be like him,” Le Clos says. “When I first watched him swim and win all those medals, I said, ‘Dad, this is what I want to do. I want to go to the Olympics and win a gold medal.’
“At that time I don’t think I realised the impact he would have on my life but it’s a crazy story, because who would have thought a small-town kid from Durban could beat the best swimmer of all time. That’s what my book is about, it’s a message about hope and perseverance.”
Photo by Doha Stadium Plus