Chad le Clos has won gold, but it’s his dad, Bert, who has won the hearts of television viewers across the world.
While South Africans are still revelling in Chad’s Olympic win, there are none happier than his parents, especially his dad.
Just moments after his son took gold in the men’s 200m butterfly final, beating US swimmer Michael Phelps by 0.05 seconds on Tuesday night, cameras turned to an overjoyed and emotional Bert le Clos among the spectators.
Holding up the SA flag, he gesticulated wildly, shouting: “Unbelievable!”
Overcome with emotion, he repeated his disbelief six more times in the space of 90 seconds.
His son had won the race in 1min 52.96sec, beating Phelps and Japan’s Takeshi Matsuda, who took third place.
While watching images of his son walking around the pool after his win, Bert, in a BBC interview, again shouted: “Unbelievable, unbelievable!” and “Look at him, he’s beautiful, I love you.”
He told the BBC’s Clare Balding: “I have never been so happy in my life. It’s like I have died and gone to heaven.”
Yesterday AdelaideNow, the website for The Advertiser in Adelaide, introduced Le Clos senior to its readers, saying: “Meet Bert le Clos. He just won the Olympic Games. He is London 2012.”
It described his reaction to his son’s win as “uncontrolled, limitless joy” and “a sight to behold in today’s hugely rehearsed and restrained media environment”.
Twitter users across the globe tweeted about the reaction.
@RogerHighfield tweeted: “Is there an Olympic event for proud dads? Give the gold to Bert Le Clos.”; @Jonty Foster said: “Bert le Clos: Olympic Legend!”; and @Chris Drake: “Bert Le Clos. What a lovely bloke!!” – Staff Reporters