In the eyes of the world the saying ‘Like father, like son’ applies when a son follows every little step his dad has taken. But sometimes it is in the heart and the way how one presents themselves through which these words come to life. With that said, allow me to present 2012 Olympic Games 200 metre butterfly gold medallist Chad Le Clos and, the man he is as humble as, Bert Le Clos, his father.
Before anything, I have to say Bert is one inspiring and self-motivated man, this I say from experience. When I requested the interview I said “Tomorrow” and he said “Today”. I said “8pm” and he said “5pm”, and I thought to myself it is no wonder his son is a world champion. There is no twist in the story of Chad and his father, just a straight forward fable that can help inspire millions of people in South Africa and beyond.
In most cases, fathers take the glory for their son’s success when their faces start popping up on television. Well that does not apply to Bert as Chad revealed that his father has always supported him from an early age and his father testified. “Wwhen he was young he never gave up, he liked winning and of course you have to help him,” said Bert, a true father figure. As we got deeper into our conversation I realised that Bert has the ability to find precise answers in a room where you might have thought there were none.
Something that his son surely inherited from him as he revealed the secret as to why he is still based in South Africa despite numerous offers to go overseas. “I’ve got a lot of offers to go overseas. I have declined them. The biggest reason is that I have a lot of support here. I can’t leave my fans in South Africa and I want to show South Africans that we can do it. From swimming we don’t have to go overseas where the money and the glory is,” said Chad as his father was on about how proud he is to have raised a son like Chad.
It has became a norm that whenever Chad takes to the pool people expect a new record to be set or a medal to swing around his neck when he comes out. “People think when your son is a soccer player or a rugby player you can’t tell him what to do, you can’t give him instructions. Well, they’ve got another thing coming, my son knows it and he takes it like a man. When he’s wrong he’s wrong,” said Bert who further disclosed that Chad is a normal boy and like all the rest he can be naughty at times.
Though he won’t be at home to remind his father that he is the best on Father’s Day, he is planning a party prior to his departure to. To sum everything up, Chad said if it wasn’t for his father and his whole family he wouldn’t be where he is today.