Chad le Clos’ parents both fighting cancer

Chad le Clos
Getty Images
0 Comments

South African Olympic swimming champion Chad le Clos, who beat Michael Phelps in one of the upsets of the 2012 London Games, announced Monday that both his parents are fighting cancer.

Le Clos said in a statement that his father Bert, who himself became a global celebrity for his exuberant celebrations and animated interviews in London, has prostate cancer and underwent surgery last month.

His mother Geraldine has breast cancer, had a double mastectomy, and is undergoing chemotherapy, Le Clos said.

Le Clos’ mother had been in remission since 2010, but the cancer had returned, Le Clos said.

“It has not been an easy time but I am training hard for Rio,” Le Clos said in his brief statement . “More than anything else I want them to win their battles. I also hope that they will be in Rio.”

Le Clos asked for privacy for his family and said he would not be doing any interviews ahead of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, which open on Aug. 5.

Le Clos, just 20 at the time, beat his childhood hero Phelps to win gold in the 200m butterfly in London, a big surprise that gained added attention because of his father’s heartwarming and humorous TV interviews.

Admiring his son with a gold medal around his neck, Bert said in an interview with the BBC soon after the race: “Look at him! And he’s beautiful! Look at this. What a beautiful boy!”

The father then asked if the interview was going out live. When told that it was, Bert apologized for being so excited.

Fans loved Bert so much that the BBC asked him to return for a second interview.

Chad le Clos, now 24, is due to defend his 200m butterfly title in Rio, and also compete in the 100m butterfly, where he won silver in London just behind Phelps. He could come up against Phelps again in those two events. He could also swim in the 200 freestyle.

VIDEO: Michael Phelps reflects on Trials, looks ahead to Rio

12-year-old skateboarders earn medals at world championships

Chloe Covell
Getty
0 Comments

At the world skateboarding championships, 12-year-olds Chloe Covell from Australia and Onodera Ginwoo from Japan earned silver and bronze medals, respectively, in Sunday’s street finals.

In the women’s event, Covell took silver behind Brazilian 15-year-old Rayssa Leal, who was a silver medalist herself at the Tokyo Games.

Frenchman Aurélien Giraud, a 25-year-old who was sixth in skateboarding’s Olympic debut in Tokyo, won the men’s final in the United Arab Emirates. Ginwoo was third behind Portugal’s Gustavo Ribeiro.

The top Americans were Olympic men’s bronze medalist Jagger Eaton in sixth and 15-year-old Paige Heyn in seventh in the women’s event.

Nyjah Huston, a six-time world champion who placed seventh in Tokyo, missed worlds after August surgery for an ACL tear.

Up to three men and three women per nation can qualify per event (street and park) for the 2024 Paris Games. World rankings come June 2024 determine which Americans qualify.

In Tokyo, four of the 12 skateboarding medalists were ages 12 or 13.

Japan’s Kokona Hiraki, then 12, won silver in women’s park to become the youngest Olympic medalist since 1936, according to Olympedia.org. Japan’s Momiji Nishiya, then 13, won women’s street and became the youngest gold medalist in an individual event since 1936.

Worlds conclude this week with the men’s and women’s park events. The finals are Saturday.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Francesco Friedrich, most decorated bobsledder in history, rebounds for 12th world title

Francesco Friedrich
Getty
0 Comments

A week after his first major championships defeat in seven years, German Francesco Friedrich returned to his winning ways to close the world bobsled championships on Sunday.

Friedrich’s four-man sled won the world title by 69 hundredths of a second over British and Latvian sleds that tied for silver, combining times from four runs over the last two days in St. Moritz, Switzerland. It marked Great Britain’s first world championships men’s bobsled medal since 1966.

Geoff Gadbois drove the lone U.S. sled in the field, finishing 18th.

Friedrich, the most decorated bobsledder in history, extended his records with a fifth consecutive world four-man title and 12th world championship between two- and four-man events.

Germany swept all four titles at bobsled worlds with four different drivers taking gold.

Friedrich had won 12 consecutive Olympic or world titles before taking two-man silver at worlds last week in St. Moritz, Switzerland. He was dethroned in that event by countryman Johannes Lochner.

Friedrich has been hampered recently by a muscle injury from sprint training in late December. Going into worlds, Lochner had won four consecutive World Cup two-man races, while Hall won the last two World Cups in four-man.

Friedrich, 32, said before this season that he plans to make the 2026 Milan-Cortina Winter Games his final competition. Friedrich and push athlete Thorsten Margis can break the record of four career Olympic bobsled gold medals that they currently share with retired Germans Andre Lange and Kevin Kuske.

The World Cup season concludes with stops in Igls, Austria, and Sigulda, Latvia, the next two weekends.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!