South Africa's golden boy Chad le Clos has qualified for the final of the men's 200m freestyle final at the Rio Olympics but, as spectators, it is difficult to comprehend the intense training it takes to compete on the world's biggest sporting stage.
Commenting on the preparation that he goes through ahead of the Olympics, Chad explains that keeping your goals in sight is a critical part of coping with such an intense training regime:
"Many days you wake up in the morning and you ask yourself why am I doing this? I think it just comes down to your goals – it’s whatever you want to achieve,” says the Olympic gold medalist swimmer and Discovery Vitality Ambassador Chad le Clos.
Read: Le Clos sneaks into 200m freestyle final
Training hard has become second nature
Chad follows a gruelling training schedule which starts on a Monday, with Tuesday afternoon off, continuing on Wednesday through Saturday. He says an average daily session can last anything from an hour and 45 minutes to two hours and 30 minutes.
His solid training described…
With an average of ten sessions per week, which includes three gym sessions, it adds up to 26 hours of swimming and training, with the exception of Sundays when he rests. All in all, it’s a whopping 60 to 90 km of swimming per week.
Cohesive coaching chronicles
Graham Hill, le Clos’ long-time coach ensures that the star athlete makes the most of his time in the water. The great relationship he has with his coach puts him on the next level professionally, as guidance has always been the pillar in his continuous success. The two have known each other for 16 years, and their bond is evident.
In an interview with Leadership Platform Chad said, “We know each other backwards. He is a nice guy outside the pool. I like to have him in my house and with my family. Seriously, he is a cool guy to be around. But, when we are training he is different; in the pool he is the boss and in charge. I can’t think of a full week where he did not shout at me, to be honest.”
‘I wanted to be the best’
The Olympian humbly says, “I wanted to be the best, so I try and train differently. I try to do extra when other people have left training. Like other people go to work every day, I wake up and swim.”
It is clear that training vigorously and preparing to the best of his ability is one of the main reasons for this champion’s ongoing success.
He wants to give back
The unwavering discipline and dedication that Chad shows towards perfecting his craft has earned him the coveted title of one of the best swimmers in the world.
Also, the swimmer’s altruistic nature is enabling him to help kids in South Africa and around the world to be water-safe and realise their dreams and goals.
Good luck with the rest of the games, Chad, we know you will make us proud!
The men's 200m freestyle final will take place at 03:21 (SA time) on Tuesday, 09 August. For full coverage of the 2016 Olympics, head over to Sport24.
Remembering that memorable moment of victory!
Here’s a video of Chad’s victory over Michael Phelps in the 2012 London Olympics – to relive the exciting moment he won that gold medal:
Chad le Clos shares his life and hardships in new documentary
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Get a swimmer's physique