Chad Le Clos Helps Fight Against Coronavirus In South Africa While Recovering From Double Surgery

DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA - APRIL 15: Chad le Clos swims the qualifying time swim in the 100m time trail medley relay during the finals session on day 6 of the SA National Aquatic Championships and Olympic Trials on April 15 , 2016 at the Kings Park Aquatic Center pool in Durban, South Africa. Photo Credit / Anesh Debiky/Swim SA
Chad le Clos: Photo Courtesy: Anesh Debiky/Swimming South Africa

Chad Le Clos is playing his part in the fight against coronavirus in South Africa by designing and distributing face masks.

The 2012 Olympic 200 fly champion, who is recovering from double surgery, is also raising money for the Chad le Clos Foundation whose aim is to develop swimming in the country with a focus on children from underprivileged backgrounds and also to offer assistance – financial and otherwise – to ensure swimmers reach their potential.

The 28-year-old, who is staying at his parents’ home in Durban, joined forces with a company called Expand a Sign in the city who were looking to help the community by developing face masks.

For his part Le Clos would use his profile to promote the enterprise as long as all proceeds went to charity.

There are five designs, with brother Jordan also providing input, including the self-explanatory Lips Mask and the Proud South African which bears the colours of the national flag and all feature the words ‘Stronger Together’ and the logo of the Chad le Clos Foundation.

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

He told Swimming World:

“Discovery – one of my sponsors – bought 3000 and we’re giving them to the police in Johannesburg and we are giving to hospitals.

“And I am encouraging everyone in South Africa (and saying) that if they want to buy a mask 10 rand (0.55dollars) will go to my foundation which is helping swimming in South Africa.

“At the moment my academy had to close because of the lockdown so what I’ve done is set aside all the money that we’ve raised and put it into a fund which I’m giving out to swimmers who, for example, need to go to the World Cup or travel to swim at Mare Nostrum, up-and-coming swimmers.

“Also to community swimming projects in rural areas in Gugulethu, Soweto, big rural places.

“We have raised a couple of thousand dollars and we have a bit more coming in in November so we have some projects coming in at the end of December through to the first week in February if the lockdown has finished.

“We’re giving a percentage to swimmers who haven’t got a place to train and haven’t had an opportunity to go and get proper training.

“I’ve had the foundation for about a year and I am just trying to give back. South Africa is a country where we need to do good things.”

The four-time Olympic medallist underwent varicocele surgery at the start of May with his foot going under the knife on the same day.

He was scheduled to have the former done in August post-Olympics only for COVID-19 to intervene which proved to be a glimmer of light amid the pandemic gloom for Le Clos.

Chad le Clos arena

Chad Le Clos – Photo Courtesy: arena and La Presse

Although he cannot do any weight-bearing exercises, the quadruple world champion can stretch and hopes to achieve full recovery within six weeks.

He explained:

“Two years, 18 months ago I went to the urologist and he told me I wouldn’t be able to have kids one day. I had that done.

“And then also I had a huge cyst on my foot. So I had a couple of stitches in my foot and 16 all in all. I’m all good.

“When he cut my leg he came to me and said Chad, you won’t believe it. This thing was going (huge) in your foot. I got a picture and he took a huge thing off. I’d had it for like 18 months. I thought I just bumped my leg and it just didn’t heal. It wasn’t a problem: you just usually get them on your wrist and it’s from movement.

“Long story short he told me that ‘you would have had four to six months before it exploded and then you’d have had a serious problem, an emergency’. So it was crazy. I ended up having it done and it ended up saving me. It was a big lump of muscle.

“I’m on the recovery. I’m on my second day of walking: I wasn’t walking for the first week. Now I’m moving around.”

Link to purchase Chad le Clos face masks