Chad le Clos celebrates after winning the men’s 200m butterfly final at the Commonwealth Games. Photo: AP/Rick Rycroft

Durban-born Chad le Clos, the most decorated swimmer at this year’s Commonwealth Games in Australia, is returning to South Africa to pursue a dream.On Friday, he will launch the Chad Le Clos Academy (CLeC) at the Quadrant Complex in Claremont, Cape Town.

With a total of 17 career gold medals to his name, three of which have been bagged at this month’s Games in Gold Coast, Le Clos has his sights set on opening a “world-class” swimming academy.

It will focus on training young children to swim and, ultimately, pursue the path to Olympic greatness.

Le Clos, who now lives in Cape Town, hopes to expand the academy to other provinces throughout South Africa.

He started swimming competitively at the age of 10 and at 14 he made the senior Olympic squad.

At the age of 18 he held two senior South African records and Commonwealth junior and senior records.

His father, Bert le Clos, is as excited as his son is about the prospects of the academy, especially after Chad’s recent successes.

“He became the first to win the most medals in the history of the Commonwealth Games and also the first to win three consecutive gold medals at the Games. He rewrote the history book three times,” said a delighted Bert.

Kathryn Nurse of the CLeC Academy said: “We are very proud of our ambassador and partner, Chad, for representing South Africa with such honour and humility.

“We are excited to announce developments in the CLeC Academy. The big reveal will take place when Chad is back.”

Le Clos will also have a birthday bash to look forward to on his return. He turned 26 on Thursday.

He claimed his third gold medal of the Commonwealth Games after winning the 100m butterfly on Monday in a Games record time of 50.65 sec.

He had earlier won gold in the 50m and 200m butterfly at this year’s event.

SUNDAY TRIBUNE