South African swimming sensation Chad le Clos was confirmed on Friday by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as an Ambassador for the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018.
The announcement took place in Singapore, the place where Le Clos came to international attention when he won five medals at the inaugural Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in 2010 and where he competes this weekend at the FINA World Cup.
Le Clos follows in the footsteps of his self-declared hero Michael Phelps, who acted as a YOG Ambassador for Singapore 2010.
The influence of Phelps has had a significant impact on the career of Le Clos as a role model and finally as a rival; Le Clos triumphed over the Olympic legend in London in 2012 to win the gold medal in the 200 m butterfly and be crowned Olympic champion.
After missing out on gold in Rio in 2016, one year later Le Clos is now back in the number one spot after winning the FINA World Championships this summer in Budapest.
The Olympic champion, who agreed to act as an Ambassador for the Nanjing 2014 YOG, had no hesitation in renewing his commitment for the next edition that is set to take place in Buenos Aires in October next year.
Speaking about his appointment at the FINA World Cup in Singapore, the 25-year-old said: “The Youth Olympics hold a special place in my heart. If it wasn’t for the YOG, I wouldn’t have achieved this success, and to be sharing this news here in Singapore where it all started for me is incredible.”
He continued: “I looked up to Phelps when he was an Ambassador for Singapore 2010; and for that responsibility to fall on my shoulders once again for the YOG is a huge honour for me; and I can’t wait to be a part of it in Buenos Aires.”