About Chad

Chad was born in Durban, South Africa in 1992 –
the son of Bert and Geraldine.

He is one of four children and part of very tight-knit family. Football was Chad’s first love (he remains an avid Manchester United fan) and his competitive nature and determination to win shone through from an early age. But it was swimming where he really dominated. His potential was recognised by teacher Lindsay Manthey when he was at Penzance Primary School. He joined Seagulls Swimming Club aged eight, under the guidance of Graham Hill, who remains his coach today.

Chad started swimming competitively aged 10 and by the age of 14 he had already made the senior Olympic squad. At the age of 18 he held two senior South African records, Commonwealth Junior and Senior records and he also competed at the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in Singapore, where he won five medals.In 2010 he won gold in every major event he competed in, including the 200m ‘fly at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi and the FINA Short Course World Championships in Dubai. Then came London 2012 where he truly announced himself to the world. His gold medal in the men’s 200m butterfly where he beat his hero Michael Phelps by 0.05 seconds was one of the standout moments of the Games, made all the more memorable by the performances of dad Bert on the BBC. A couple of legends had been born. Chad also won silver in the 100m butterfly to complete a hugely successful debut Olympics.

The pressure was then on to deliver at the 2013 World Championships in Barcelona but Chad stepped up to the plate and won gold in the 100m and 200m butterfly. Just days later he set a world record in the short course 200m butterfly at a World Cup event in Eindhoven – a record he went on to break again in November that year. At the 2014 Commonwealth Games Chad medalled in each of the seven events he entered, including gold in the 100m and 200m butterfly. He then made history at the FINA World Cup Series, becoming the first swimmer ever to be crowned overall winner three times. At the FINA World Championships (Short Course) in December he became the first swimmer ever to win all three butterfly events. Unsurprisingly Chad was named FINA Male Swimmer of the Year for 2014.

At the 2015 World Championships he retained his 100m butterfly title and was pipped to silver in the 200m. In 2016, Chad became South Africa’s most decorated Olympian, winning two silver medals at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in the 200m freestyle and 100m butterfly. He then went on to win three gold medals at the FINA World Championships (SC) in Windsor in December 2016. In January 2017, Chad announced that he had appointed a new head coach, Italian Andrea di Nino, and joined the Energy Standard Swimming Club. He competed at the 2017 FINA World Championships in Budapest in July, winning gold in the 200m fly. 2017 also saw Chad honoured as Best Male Athlete of the Year at the ANOC (Association of National Olympic Committees) Awards in November, just before winning the FINA Swimming World Cup Series for the fourth time. The XXI Commonwealth Games 2018 at the Gold Coast in April saw Chad make history in becoming the most successful Commonwealth swimmer of all time. His three gold’s in the 50m, 100m and 200m butterfly along with a silver in the 100m freestyle and bronze in 4x100m medley relay brought his medal tally up to 17 in total.

There was more success for Chad towards the end of 2018 in the FINA World Championships (Short Course) with 4 medals including gold in the 100m fly. He was named South Africa Sportsman of the Year and also FINA Male Swimmer of the Year for the second time. The 2019 FINA World Championships in Gwangju he gained two bronze medals in the 100m and 200m fly events against tough international competition. 2019 saw Chad take part in the FINA World Champs in South Korea earning two bronze medals and was named “Swimmer of the Championship” despite a niggling groin injury. Towards the end of the year he took part in the inaugural International Swimming League (ISL) as co-captain of Team Energy Standard with Sweden’s Sarah Sjöström. Notable highlights included being named MVP at the European Derby in London before the team went on to become the first ever ISL World Champions at the final in Las Vegas. The world changed in 2020 and the Covid-19 pandemic saw Chad return to South Africa and go in lockdown.

With the Tokyo2020 Olympics postponed continuously and South Africa considered one of the hardest lockdowns in the world Chad struggled to commence training until Feb 2021. The Olympics finally took place in July 2021 and Chad placed 5th in the 200m Butterfly Olympic Final.

In late 2021 Chad captained Energy Standard to win the ISL Final against the Cali Condors in the Netherlands.