Le Clos’s Olympic prep overshadowed by parents’ cancer shock

His mother underwent a double-mastectomy, while his father’s been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Chad le Clos with his gold medal after winning the 200m butterfly final in the Olympics. Picture: AFP.

CAPE TOWN - Olympic Champion Chad le Clos has revealed that preparations for his title defence in Rio de Janeiro have been overshadowed by the news that both his parents are currently battling cancer.

Le Clos, winner of the 200m butterfly in London where he famously beat Michael Phelps, will be looking at doing the same when the Games get underway early next month.

As memorable as his performances were in the pool at the London Games, it was the poolside antics of his father, Bert, that captured global attention.

With the Rio Games just under a month away, the 24-year-old revealed that his father has lost over 30 kilograms after being diagnosed with prostate cancer and having undergone an operation in late June.

At the same time, his mother Geraldine recently underwent a double-mastectomy after the return of her breast cancer, which was first diagnosed in 2010.

Le Clos won't be doing any media interviews in the build-up to the Games, while for the last year and a half the family have been filming a documentary about his build-up to Rio.

In a statement, Le Clos paid tribute to everything his parents had done for his career and said, "Having my mum and dad healthy would mean so much more than winning a gold medal."

The Rio Games get underway on the 5 August.