Cameron van der Burgh

Cameron van der Burgh was a superstar when he broke the 50m breaststroke world record in 2009. His beaming grin after winning the 100m event at the 2010 Commonwealth Games and “Ke Nako” (Sotho for “It is time”) printed on his palms made him a South African hero. Olympic gold at London 2012 ensured his legacy as a swimming legend. Proud to have achieved it all by training from his home town of Pretoria, “Killa Cam” attributes much of his success to his mind. “If you get too serious, the pressure will get to you,” he explains. “I get really pumped up, but I don’t get nervous. I hate training, but I love racing. It’s about being in the moment.” Now Van der Burgh’s role is as much racer as it is leader. “Chad [le Clos] and I spoke about it,” he says, looking ahead, “and we have the
opportunity to change South African swimming.” — Ian Macleod