Chad was born in Durban, South Africa, in 1992 the son of Bert and Geraldine. He is one of four children and part of very tight-knit family.
Football was Chad’s first love (he remains an avid Manchester United fan) and his competitive nature and determination to win shone through from an early age. But it was swimming where he really dominated. His potential was recognised by teacher Lindsay Manthey when he was at Penzance Primary School. He joined Seagulls Swimming Club aged eight, under the guidance of Graham Hill, who remains his coach today.
Chad started swimming competitively aged 10 and by the age of 14 he had already made the senior Olympic squad. At the age of 18 he held two senior South African records, Commonwealth Junior and Senior records and he also competed at the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in Singapore, where he won five medals.In 2010 he won gold in every major event he competed in, including the 200m ‘fly at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi and the FINA Short Course World Championships in Dubai.
Then came London 2012 where he truly announced himself to the world. His gold medal in the men’s 200m butterfly where he beat his hero Michael Phelps by 0.05 secs was one of the standout moments of the Games, made all the more memorable by the performances of dad Bert on the BBC. A couple of legends had been born.
Chad also won silver in the 100m butterfly to complete a hugely successful debut Olympics.
The pressure was then on to deliver at the 2013 World Championships in Barcelona but Chad stepped up to the plate and won gold in the 100m and 200m butterfly. Just days later he set a world record in the short course 200m butterfly at a World Cup event in Eindhoven – a record he went on to break again in November that year.
At the 2014 Commonwealth Games Chad medalled in each of the seven events he entered, including gold in the 100m and 200m butterfly. He then made history at the FINA World Cup Series, becoming the first swimmer ever to be crowned overall winner three times. At the FINA World Championships (Short Course) in December he became the first swimmer ever to win all three butterfly events. Unsurprisingly Chad was named FINA Male Swimmer of the Year for 2014.
At the 2015 World Championships he retained his 100m butterfly title and was pipped to silver in the 200m. In 2016, Chad became South Africa’s most decorated Olympian, winning two silver medals at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in the 200m freestyle and 100m butterfly. He then went on to win three gold medals at the FINA World Championships (SC) in Windsor in December 2016.
In January 2017, Chad announced that he had appointed a new head coach, Italian Andrea di Nino, and joined the Energy Standard Swimming Club. He is on the journey to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, but first will compete at the 2017 FINA World Championships in Budapest in July.