Olympic gold medalist and South African swimming super-star Cameron van der Burgh recently announced that he is relocating to Cape Town, South Africa, from Pretoria, where he has been based for the past decade.
Though Van der Burgh has not announced his retirement from swimming, he understands that he needs to start planning for a professional life outside of the pool, he tells ZwemZa. Fortunately, Van der Burgh has the support of mentor and former South African swimming star Ryk Neethling, who is Van der Burgh’s manager and a very successful businessman himself. Now 28-years-old, Van der Burgh is still a major contender on the world stage in breaststroke, though his 50 and 100 meter breaststroke world records have been broken by reigning 100 breaststroke Olympic champion Adam Peaty of Great Britain. Van der Burgh, who earned silver in the 100 breast in Rio, has been making the rounds on the FINA World Cup, and recently swam at the African Championships in Bloemfontein, where he won the 50 breast in a new meet record time of 28.05 seconds, easily beating South African teammate Michael Houlie who finished 2nd in 28.63.
Van der Burgh, who has already laid the foundation for his entrepreneurial post-swimming career, says “That is my biggest goal for the next four years–to try and set myself up to ensure that I don’t just stop, and [then] ask ‘what is next?’” With the help of Neethling and the success Van der Burgh has already achieved outside of the pool, including being featured in GQ for his fashion savvy and having made multiple appearances on South African television, the transition to life outside of the pool should go smoothly for South Africa’s first-ever home-trained male world record holder and Olympic champion.
Teammate Chad le Clos is also rumored to be relocating to Cape Town, though le Clos’ exact plans remain unconfirmed. Le Clos has made it public that he will be changing coaches for the lead-up to Tokyo 2020, and that he will be opening the Chad le Clos Swimming Academy in 2017 (location also unconfirmed). Both Van der Burgh and le Clos have expressed admiration and gratitude for those that have supported them and helped them to accomplish feats most swimmers only dream of, and that they look forward to the future and new experiences.