Cameron van der Burgh

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Cameron van der Burgh
Cameron van der Burgh.jpg
Personal information
Full nameCameron van der Burgh
National team South Africa
Born (1988-05-25) 25 May 1988 (age 31)
Pretoria, South Africa
Height1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Weight85 kg (187 lb)
ClubEnergy Standard

Cameron van der Burgh OIS (born 25 May 1988) is a retired South African competitive swimmer[1] and hedge fund analyst. He is Africa's first home-trained world record holder and individual male Olympic Champion.[2] He is married to long time partner Nefeli Valakelis.[3]

Swimming career[edit]

Van der Burgh trains with Dirk Lange and is based in Pretoria. He has represented South Africa at the 2008 Summer Olympics, at the 2012 Summer Olympics where he won the gold medal in the 100-meter breaststroke in a new world record, and the 2016 Olympics.[4][5][6] He has won numerous World Championship medals since his debut in 2007 when he took a bronze medal. Three times he has won the FINA overall World Cup.

Van der Burgh set his first world long-course record (27.06s) in the 50 m breaststroke in the semifinals at South African nationals in April 2009, cutting 0.12 of a second from Oleg Lisogor's old world record set in 2002. He won the world title in the same year at the Rome championship, also in the 50 m breaststroke.

He won the 50m breaststroke at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in a time of 27.18 seconds in a new games record and the 100m world title at the 2010 short course world championships. He won the 100m breaststroke gold medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics in a new world record time of 58.46 seconds,[7] and paid tribute to late world champion Alexander Dale Oen afterwards.[8] Van der Burgh later admitted to breaking the rules by utilising illegal dolphin kicks during the race which was confirmed by video replays showing Van der Burgh taking three dolphin kicks.[9][10] Subsequently, FINA have suggested they may consider underwater video evidence to judge results, although van der Burgh's results and medal are not under threat.[10]

At the 2014 Commonwealth Games, he won the gold in the men's 50 m breaststroke in a new games record.[11] He won silver in the 100 m breaststroke behind Adam Peaty, and was part of the South African team that won bronze in the men's 4 x 100 m relay.[12][13] The 2014 Commonwealth Games marked the beginning of his major rivalry with World and Olympic champion Adam Peaty. Although Peaty has maintained the upper hand at Olympic and World level, especially in the 100 metres breaststroke, Van Der Burgh has remained his main international rival, and remains the only swimmer to have beaten him since his breakthrough, on both occasions denying Peaty the only major silverware missing from his collection, the Commonwealth Games 50 metre breaststroke title (a race not on the Olympic calendar).

In 2015 Cameron went on to Break the World Record in the heats of the 50m Breaststroke at the World Championships but settled for silver in the final. He went on further to earn another silver in the 100m Breaststroke.[14] Later that year he went on to record a 24 race unbeaten streak to win the overall men's World Cup, the third of his career.[15]

At the 2016 Olympic Games Cameron secured the silver medal in the 100m Breaststroke earning his second Olympic Medal.[14] Later that year he went on the win another World Championship title at the World Short Cours championships in the 50m Breaststroke.[16]

In December 2018, van der Burgh announced his retirement from competitive swimming following the conclusion of the 2018 FINA Short Course World Swimming Championships, where he won two individual gold medals.[17]

Personal life[edit]

Van der Burgh went to Glenstantia Primary as a young boy[18] but matriculated at Crawford College in 2006.[19] He now studies Financial Management through UNISA part-time and is interested in becoming an entrepreneur after his swimming career.[20] Since the London Olympics, van der Burgh has received various awards including South African Style Icon 2012,[21] GQ 7th best-dressed man 2012,[22][23] and has gone on to make various magazine covers and appeared in South African TV shows. He has made many appearances around the country giving motivational speeches and attending gala dinners. He has been linked to a few charities and recently fed underprivileged kids in Alexandria with his Olympic earnings.[24] Most recently he has become the ambassador for Steps, a charity that treats kids born with clubfoot.[25]

In March 2020, van der Burgh contracted COVID-19 during the worldwide coronavirus pandemic. He called it "by far the worst virus" he has ever endured, despite "being a healthy individual with strong lungs (no smoking/sport), living a healthy lifestyle and being young".[26]


Van der Burgh has signed many lucrative endorsement deals since the London Olympics. These include Arena,[27] Investec,[28] Audi,[29] USN,[30] and Tag Heuer,[31] with his most recent being a four-year deal with multi-brand corporation Procter & Gamble as the new Head and Shoulders ambassador, joining the likes of Michael Phelps, Lionel Messi and Jenson Button.[32] He is estimated to be earning between $200,000 and $400,000 per annum from sponsorship deals.[33]

Investment career[edit]

Van der Burgh created a big passion for the financial markets from a young age when he won the JSE School Challenge in 2005[34] and has gone to further manage a portion of his own capital ever since. He recently revealed he enjoys commodities in particular.[35]

Cameron joined Andurand Capital, a private hedge fund in London as an analyst in October where he now lives.[36]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Team SA profile – Cameron van der Burgh". Archived from the original on 12 August 2012. Retrieved 30 July 2012.
  2. ^ "SuperSport - Olympics". Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  3. ^ "Cameron van der Burgh ties the knot!". Sport. Retrieved 9 September 2018.
  4. ^ Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill; et al. "Cameron van der Burgh". Olympics at Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 8 August 2017.
  5. ^ "Rio 2016 100m breaststroke men - Olympic Swimming". International Olympic Committee. 23 June 2017. Retrieved 8 August 2017.
  6. ^ "Rio 2016 200m breaststroke men - Olympic Swimming". International Olympic Committee. 23 June 2017. Retrieved 8 August 2017.
  7. ^ Linden, Julian (29 July 2012). "South Africa's van der Burgh wins men's 100m breaststroke gold medal". Reuters. Retrieved 30 July 2012.
  8. ^ Buzinski, Jim (29 July 2012). "Olympic Breastroke Winner Cameron Van Der Burgh Wins Gold To Honor Alexander Dale Oen". Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  9. ^ Devaney, Jason (7 August 2012). "Swimmer admits to breaking the rules during gold-medal performance in London". NBC Olympics. Archived from the original on 13 August 2012. Retrieved 7 August 2012.
  10. ^ a b "Swimmer Cameron van der Burgh says he's the 'victim' in dolphin-kicking furore". 10 August 2012. Retrieved 25 August 2012.
  11. ^ "Glasgow 2014 - Men's 50m Breaststroke Final". Retrieved 8 August 2017.
  12. ^ "Glasgow 2014 - Men's 100m Breaststroke Final". Retrieved 8 August 2017.
  13. ^ "Glasgow 2014 - Men's 4 x 100m Medley Relay Final". Retrieved 8 August 2017.
  14. ^ a b "Cameron Van Der Burgh". SwimSwam. 23 October 2015. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  15. ^ "Van der Burgh wins World Cup Series". Sport. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  16. ^ "Cameron wins gold in Canada". Sport. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  17. ^ "CAMERON VAN DER BURGH ENDS CAREER WITH TEXTILE WR, GOLD MEDAL IN 50 BR". SwimSwam. 16 December 2018. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
  18. ^ Du Preez, Yolande (13 September 2012). "Reach for gold, Cameron tells pupils". IOL. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  19. ^ "Crawford College Pretoria Crawfordian Cameron van der Burgh brings back GOLD". Crawford Schools. Archived from the original on 2 July 2014. Retrieved 29 March 2013.
  20. ^ "Cameron van der Burgh". Crawford Schools. Archived from the original on 5 October 2014. Retrieved 29 March 2013.
  21. ^ Ndlovu, Andile (26 November 2012). "Olympian Cameron in style". Archived from the original on 26 November 2012. Retrieved 26 November 2012.
  22. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 15 June 2013. Retrieved 29 March 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  23. ^ "Ty Keogh wins GQ South Africa Best-Dressed Men Awards 2012 [pic]". Life is Savage. 23 October 2012. Archived from the original on 26 October 2012. Retrieved 26 October 2012.
  24. ^ "Cameron's cow to feed kids". News24. 21 August 2012. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  25. ^ "Cameron van der Burgh partners with Steps". Good Taste. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  26. ^ Zucker, Joseph (22 March 2020). "Olympian Cameron van der Burgh Says COVID-19 Is 'By Far the Worst Virus'". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 23 March 2020.
  27. ^ "South African Republic, Team - arena". Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  28. ^ "Cameron van der Burg[sic] crowned South Africa's 2013 Sportsman of the Year". Investec Sponsorships. Archived from the original on 27 August 2014. Retrieved 27 August 2014.
  29. ^ "New wheels for Van der Burgh". Sport. 13 August 2012. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  30. ^ "USN Partners with Olympic Gold Medalist". Sport Industry Group South Africa. 27 March 2013. Archived from the original on 18 July 2013. Retrieved 18 July 2013.
  31. ^ "Congratulations Cameron Van Der Burgh!". Picot & Moss. August 2012. Archived from the original on 26 August 2014. Retrieved 29 March 2013.
  32. ^ Phatudi, Denis (4 April 2013). "Another Sponsorship Deal For Cameron van der Burgh". Juicy Africa. Archived from the original on 26 August 2014. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  33. ^ "Swimming stars could earn millions – report". City Press. 3 August 2012. Archived from the original on 16 February 2013. Retrieved 29 March 2013.
  34. ^ "IT ALL ADDS UP - JSE MAGAZINE". JSE MAGAZINE. 1 June 2015. Retrieved 9 September 2018.
  35. ^ "Cameron van der Burgh opens up about money (totally sounds like a stock broker!)". 702. Retrieved 9 September 2018.
  36. ^ "SA's swimming champion Cameron's stock is on the rise | Weekend Argus". Retrieved 19 December 2018.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Felipe França Silva
Men's 50-metre breaststroke
world record-holder

29 July 2009 – 22 August 2014
Succeeded by
Adam Peaty
Preceded by
Oleg Lisogor
Men's 50-metre breaststroke
world record-holder (25m)

8 November 2008 – present
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Brenton Rickard
Men's 100-metre breaststroke
world record-holder (long course)

29 July 2012 – 17 April 2015
Succeeded by
Adam Peaty
Preceded by
Ed Moses
Men's 100-metre breaststroke
world record-holder (25m)

9 November 2008 – present
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Oussama Mellouli
Swimming World Magazine's
African Swimmer of the Year

Succeeded by
Chad le Clos
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Randall Bal
Chad le Clos
FINA World Cup
overall male winner

2008, 2009
Succeeded by
Thiago Pereira
Vladimir Morozov