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Catching up with our Olympians: Chad Ho

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Chad Ho, one of SA’s and the world’s  Open Water swimming legends share his journey from youth experiences to yet another Olympics qualification. His simple humility, mixed with his deep passion for open water swimming is such an inspiration to many. He is fast, on point, focused and prides himself in mental toughness and preparation. He is also proudly the seven-time title holder of the Midmar Mile. Congrats and all the very best Chad for the final battle for victory that will be on the world’s largest sporting arena in Rio in a few day’s time. SA is behind you all the way!

He says “I am a simple soul, there is not much complicating about me – as basic as they come. I pride myself on my humbleness and mental strength. I am very quiet & get just as shy in situations as the average person”.


Athlete: Bio / Stats

Name & Surname Chad Ho
Date of birth 21 June 1990
Place of birth Johannesburg
Current City Durban
Height 1,71cm
Weight 75kg
Shoe Size 9
Club Action Swim Academy
Coach’s Name Alisdiar Hatfield
Favorite City Hong Kong
Favorite Movie Fast & The Furious – All 7
Tertiary Inst Name/ Year Currently doing a B.ED
Sponsor Speedo



@swima_chadho (Twitter)

chadho1 (Instagram)

Chad Ho Page (Facebook)

Community projects involved in None in Durban. I am involved in Sabrina Love Foundation which is based in Plett.
Parents Names, siblings Hillary Ho, Steven Ho

2 x Sisters Tracey Notley & Andrea Ho



Q: You have just realized a life long dream again to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympics,your first Olympics being 2008 Beijing. Wow and well done. What is on your heart and mind right now concerning this qualification?

Thank you very much! I am very happy to have achieved my goal, I do feel a bit of relief to be one step closer to the final although it’s not over until it is over so there are still nervous/excited thoughts regarding the upcoming race at Olympics. To have the chance to compete again is amazing & makes me feel as though all my hard work has paid off.

Q: How did you experience this qualifying race in Portugal, start / middle and finish of the race/ general vibe?

It was one of the most physically tough and demanding races I have ever swum. The pace from halfway to the end of the race was intense and more than I expected. There was a bit of tension in the air before the race as everyone knew this was their last chance to qualify for Olympics so the competitive streaks were stronger than any other previous race.

Q: Respecting and being grateful for the journey that you, your parents and coaches have been on till now. Also for the benefit and encouragement of young and up-coming little dreamers that see you as a hero – how was your swimming performances at round about 13 years old? What was your regime like at that age?

I only started to really perform at age 13, being behind my friends who started making KZN teams at age 10. At that stage I had been swimming all my life and started competing at age 10. I find the biggest struggle with young swimmers (which I experienced myself) is you want things to happen “there and then”, you expect to be at the top after the little work you put in but it doesn’t come that easy – you have to work HARD to be the best or better.



Q: Beside swimming, what else do you have a passion for?

Golf – I really enjoy getting a day on the golf course.

Q: One thing about you that the word does not know?

Much to people’s surprise – I don’t follow any diet or specific eating requirements. I eat what I want when I want it.

Q: What is your personal favourite motivational quote?

Love what you do & do what you love.


Q: In your opinion, how do you define greatness in life?

Having the ability to reach all your own personal goals and living a happy life! It does not matter how much money or success you have or don’t have, the love and support you have will make your life one worth living!

Q:  What’s your WHY ? 

I do what I do simply because I LOVE it, swimming is my passion. Whether I was competing or not I would still be swimming. I would like to bring awareness to the world about Open Water Swimming – A lot of people don’t even know of its existence and I love to see the sport growing. It is an incredibly challenging sport and one that deserves recognition just as much as any other swimming event.

Q: Favourite meal?



Thank you so much for taking this interview. We would like to wish you all the best for your journey ahead. We look forward to following you as you go from strength to strength. Blessings!

NB – All images were supplied by the athlete to Heslop Sports. If there are any images that are not credited correctly, please email info@heslopsports.co.za with the details and we will gladly do so immediately.

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