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Johannesburg - It had the makings of a fairy tale – a girl splitting up with her boyfriend months before her matric dance and then bagging one of the country’s most eligible bachelors as her date.
And in full view of excited Glenvista High School pupils, Chad le Clos carried his date out of the car and took a few steps with the beaming teenager in his arms before putting her down to walk the red carpet leading into the Birchwood Hotel in Boksburg.
“It was amazing. I felt like a princess,” Melanie Olhaus said on Sunday, still recovering from Saturday night’s festivities.
It all started in August when the gold medallist touched down at OR Tambo International Airport from the Olympic Games in London when he spotted the matric pupil’s poster: “Chad, will you be my matric dance date?”
The swimming champion replied: “Ja, I think I can do that.”
Le Clos later said in interviews that he was looking forward to the matric dance as he did not get to enjoy his fully, with a swimming commitment forcing him to skip the after party.
During the hours leading up to the matric dance, the Olympic sensation took to Twitter, with the first Tweet saying: “Got my suit today [Wednesday] for the matric dance, keen for Saturday will post pics after! Any guess wat [sic] colour it is? #chadettes.”
He posted more Tweets on Saturday, detailing his excitement.
“Just finished getting ready for matric dance, very amped! Will post pics later through night,” he said in one of the Tweets, later posting a picture in which he was posing with Melanie.
At 22.55pm, Le Clos posted his last Tweet: “Awsome [sic] dance, now time for H20 then LIVE.”
Those are the two clubs to which he accompanied Olhaus for the after parties.
“It was amazing, I had so much fun with Chad,” said Olhaus, who was dressed by one of the country’s top designers, Gert Johann Coetzee.
“Everyone wanted pictures with him… it was hectic [but] I didn’t mind,” she said.
“He came with me to the after parties. We first went to H20 because we had VIP tickets. We then went to LIVE where all my schoolmates were. He [Le Clos] really did enjoy it. We didn’t get to dance at all because everyone wanted pictures,” said Olhaus.
Describing Le Clos as “a good dancer” she said the matric dance celebrity left the party just after 1am as he had to fly to Dubai for a swimming commitment – perhaps taking a warning from Olhaus’s eight-year-old neighbour seriously.
The boy plans to do what Le Clos did to Michael Phelps – beat him in the pool.
Olhaus said she had not really expected Le Clos to attend both the dance and the after parties.
“I had a lot of fun with him,” said the 17-year-old who only got to hit the dance floor with her friends once Le Clos had left.
The dance went on until 3am, she said, adding that she and Le Clos planned to keep in touch in the future.
Olhaus, who plans to study to become a dietician at Wits University next year, will now focus on preparing for the end-of-year exams.
- The Star