Cameron van der Burgh, Nefeli Valakelis Announce Birth of their First Child

Olympic gold medalist and World Record holder Cameron van der Burgh announced on Saturday that he and his wife Nefeli Valakelis welcomed their first child into the world on Friday at 3:42 in the afternoon.

The baby, a boy, has been given the name Harry David van der Burgh, and dad Cameron announced the birth by posting the sheet music for the famous Beatles song “Blackbird,” riffing off the lyrics by saying “you were only waiting for this moment to arrive.”

The baby was born in Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in the Chelsea neighborhood of London, where the couple lives. While neither is British by birth, with van der Burgh being South African and Valakelis being Greek, the two live in London, where van der Burgh works for Anduran Capital Management.

Van der Burgh announced his retirement from competitive swimming in late 2018 during a post-race press conference from his World Short Course Championships title in the 100 breaststroke.

Van der Burgh at various points of his career held World Records in both the 50 and 100-meter breaststrokes in both long course and short course meters.

He won 6 World Championships in his career and 2 Olympic medals: the 100 breaststroke gold in London in 2012 and silver in Rio in 2016.

He was the first African man to win an individual Olympic gold medal in swimming, and also the first home-trained African to set a World Record in swimming.

Van der Burgh has had an eventful year, even by 2020’s standards: he was one of the first people in London to contract the coronavirus, experiencing severe symptoms. Earlier this week, almost 6 months later, he still says that his sense of smell hasn’t returned to normal.

Van der Burgh has not yet posted any photos of the newborn baby, but says that both the baby and Valakelis are ‘doing well.’

All three members of the men’s podium in the 100 breaststroke are expecting sons in 2020. Britain’s Adam Peaty expecting a boy with his partner Eirianedd Munro, and American Cody Miller expecting a boy with his wife Ali.

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3 years ago

Peaty vs Van der Burgh vs Miller in the 100m breaststroke. Not in 2016 but in 2040……

3 years ago

So the whole 100m breaststroke podium from rio have all announced they are having children let’s see if they will race in the olympics against each other 😂

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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