Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
1 minute read
11 Jul 2016
2:10 pm

Le Clos reveals personal battle ahead of Games

Wesley Botton

Cancer has struck the Le Clos household in a big way prior to the 2016 Olympic Games.

Geraldine and Bert le Clos, parents of Chad le Clos of South Africa pose with his gold medal after the Men's 200m Butterfly Final at Tollcross International Swimming Centre during day three of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games on July 26, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland. Photo: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

South Africa’s leading Olympic contender Chad le Clos has revealed both his parents are fighting cancer, less than a month before he carries the nation’s hopes in the swimming pool at the Rio Games.

In a statement released on Monday, Le Clos said his mom, Geraldine, had recently undergone a double mastectomy after her battle with breast cancer has resumed, having gone into remission in 2010.

His father, Bert, who became a global celebrity on social media due to his exuberant celebrations at the 2012 London Games, had been diagnosed with prostate cancer and underwent an operation late last month.

“It has not been an easy time but I am training hard for Rio,” Le Clos said.

“More than anything else I want them to win their battles. I also hope that they will be in Rio.”

Le Clos, who earned gold and silver medals in London four years ago, will target four medals in Rio, as he aims to become South Africa’s most decorated Olympian.

He will turn out in a highly anticipated clash with American legend Michael Phelps in the 100m and 200m butterfly events, and also hopes to step on the podium in the 200m freestyle and 4x100m medley relay contests.