South African swimming sensation and Olympic champion Chad le Clos has revealed that both his parents were suffering from cancer.
In a statement, Le Clos said: “The Rio Olympics is just a few weeks away but I can confirm that both my parents are fighting cancer.
“My mum Geraldine has breast cancer which has returned since her remission in 2010. She has recently undergone a double mastectomy and is now having chemo. My dad Bert developed prostate cancer and has also undergone an operation in late June.”
He added: “It has not been an easy time but I am training hard for Rio. More than anything else I want them to win their battles. I also hope that they will be in Rio.
“I would ask my friends in the media to respect their recovery. I will also not be doing any media prior to Rio.”
Le Clos sprung to international fame when he beat legendary two-time defending Olympic champion and world record holder, Michael Phelps, in the 200-metre butterfly at the London 2012 Games.
His father Bert also became an instant hit on social media, as moments after Chad’s momentous win over Phelps, he could be seen doing crazy celebrations at the aquatic centre in London.
While being interviewed by the BBC, an emotional Bert shouted: “Unbelievable, unbelievable, unbelievable!”
“Look at him, he’s beautiful, I love you,” he blurted before asking whether the interview was going out live.