Chad le Clos (Getty Images)
Cape Town - Returning home on Thursday from a successful Olympics in Rio, South Africa's star swimmer and Discovery Vitality Ambassador, Chad le Clos, let us in on a few things we never knew about him.
And since he’s 24-years-old, we thought we would ask him 24 questions!
1. What does Chad le Clos do on his off day?
On my off day? Mmmm, let’s see... yes, play poker with my friend.
2. If you’re with friends at a pool party, how do you restrict yourself from being the show off and racing through that water?
*Laughs* that’s a good one. Well, that’s what I do every day, so I don't want to go and do my job while I’m at a party.
3. If you weren’t the esteemed swimmer you are and Usain Bolt wasn’t the "cheetah" he is on the track and you both participated in the same sport, who do you think would win?
*Giggles* me without a doubt! In my mind I would win for sure!
4. What are your last thoughts before that gun sounds and you dive into the pool?
I prepare myself to go to war when I am in that call room - those moments before, I focus, I laser-focus.
5. Do you have a particular meal or snack that you eat on the day of a race?
Not really, I like to eat a bit of protein, a bit of pasta, a bit of everything really. It just kind of depends on how I’m feeling to be honest.
6. How do you psych yourself up before you race? Do you listen to a particular song or do a funky dance?
If you go on YouTube you can see that funny dance I did *laughs* I don’t know what happened there, I don’t know what I am doing there - I blow my mind sometimes. The songs I listen to my friend m
akes the mixes for me, he’s a DJ and some inspirational quotes that get me ready to battle.
7. Since the hashtag #PhelpsFace trended for a while after he stared you down like that before your one race, what would you like your hashtag to be?
That’s hilarious! I’d like mine to be a little bit better to be honest, something like #HeartbreakKid or #CoolLeClos
8. At the medal ceremony when you and Michael Phelps tied for silver, how did it feel holding your arch-rival's hand? Was it at all awkward or uncomfortable?
We are huge rivals but at the end of the day we respect each other, and after the race the rivalry is over also. He’s retiring now. We were happy. I got him in London, he got me in Rio so we tied. It’s one all with a half each. I have no bad feelings towards him. Whatever happens in the call room happens. We shake hands afterwards, we have a drink and we celebrate the careers of both of us.Image: Getty
9. Are you also obsessed with Pokemon Go like the rest of the world is?
I’m actually not; I haven’t really had a phone for the past three months. I’ve been off my phone, been off social media, basically doing social media once a week. I’ve seen it though, my friends all play it - it’s crazy. But I will join now that I’m able to have my phone a little bit.
10. Since you’re never wearing any clothing besides your swim trunks, do you deem yourself a fashionista?
*Laughs* well maybe. You decide - let’s say I am!
11. Tell us something about you that you wished more people focused on?
I’d like people to get to know me for who I am and not judge on what sometimes the media or the haters can say. I think people get judged way too quickly. A small example would be that I always thought that Usain Bolt was a little bit arrogant until I got to know him and I saw what he was about. I saw his documentary and his life story and he’s actually a really humble guy. He puts on a bit of a show, just making a show for the people and sometimes people can perceive it as arrogance or cockiness. But at the end of the day the Phelps/Le Clos rivalry was the biggest rivalry in swimming history - the most anticipated race of all time you know? It’s about creating hype around the sport and I wish that people wouldn’t judge me for how we race and how we are in that bubble, but for how we are as people because that’s more important at the end of the day. Swimming is going to last me a few more years and after that we human beings and I just wish that is how we got judged.
12. What scares you the most?
13. What angers you the most?
Arrogance and rude people - aint nobody got time for that!
14. What’s your spirit animal?
A lion - I like what it represents and like Carson Kolhoff says, “Don't ever mistake my silence for ignorance, my calmness for acceptance, or my kindness for weakness.”
15. Do you have a secret hobby?
I wouldn’t call it secret; I honestly love playing poker with my mates. I love going out and just have a good time. My mates and I are going to Las Vegas at the end of the year.
16. What’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever splurged on?
I bought this really crazy pool table, it was really expensive. It had a great meaning behind it; we bought it at an auction in France.
17. Name one thing you cannot live without?
18. What are 3 things you look for in a girl?
There’s got to be a connection for sure. Someone that’s going to have a sense of humour, someone that’s fun and not too flirty with guys. There must be some mystery to my lady.
19. Who would make you completely star-struck?
Sporting-wise, Cristiano Ronaldo, I’m big fan of his. Celebrity-wise, it would be Phoebe Tonkin - she plays in Vampire Diaries. She’s a cutie, if I should see her I’d be like “what the hell?” *laughs*
20. Where’s your favourite place to be?
I love Cape Town, it’s my favourite city! There’s just something about Cape Town that’s very special. It’s a different world.
21. Do you have a hidden talent?
I do but I can’t say you’d have to ask some people... *laughs*
22. Describe yourself in 3 phrases?
1. Family-orientated, 2. Addicted to H2O, 3. Likes a good time.
23. If your life was a song or a movie, what would the title be?
24. What do you want to say to your fans?
I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone, the support means the world to me. I’m really blessed to have the support that I have from everyone in South Africa, so a very big thank you. I can’t thank you enough.Image: Gallo
Welcome home Chad and once again, well done on your achievements to date! All the best.