You may not be a swimmer, but if you’re an achiever in any area of life, you’ll enjoy Unbelievable: A Book About Family, Values, and Perseverance (Penguin, 2014; Amazon Kindle edition). Author Myan Subrayan had done an excellent job introducing us to one of South Africa’s sports heroes, 2012 Olympic swimming gold medalist, Chad le Clos.
Mr le Clos surprised many when he bested the legendary Michael Phelps in the men’s 200 m butterfly in London. What has been equally impressive since that high moment is Chad’s down-to-earth way of handling success. Thanks largely to his strong family, he has stayed grounded, including throwing himself into a handful of worthy causes. These include the fight against breast cancer, following his mother’s battle with the disease, as well as the campaign to save Africa’s rhinos from extinction.
Unfortunately, on some topics, the book stays in the shallow end of the pool. As a person of faith, I would have appreciated more about Chad’s religion. From time-to-time there was a hint, such as this line : “God has given me talent and opportunities, and I want to use these to make a positive difference wherever I go” (location 1736, Kindle). Hopefully, future bios will confidently swim into deeper waters.
All-in-all, Unbelievable accomplishes what it sets out to do. At a time when some other South African sports heroes have spectacularly imploded, it’s refreshing to see a young man who has already accomplished much yet kept a positive and balanced outlook. Keep up the good work, sir.
Photo credit: Penguin Books (South Africa)