The diaspora of swimmers from South Africa which began durning the 1950's produced some international aquatic champions.These including a Princess, a couple of Masters legends, triathletes, coaches, an administrator and a famous environmentalist.
The former Bulawayo and Benoni resident is a South African champion backstroke swimmer who competed at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. She was part of women's 4x100m medley relay team finished 5th. Her real claim to fame was marrying Prince Albert of Monaco and so became HRH Princess Charlene Grimaldi of Monaco.
International Swimming Hall of Fame inductee and Canadian Olympic coach Cecil Colwin was born in Port Elizabeth, moving to the Transvaal, where he worked as a professional swimming coach based at the Summit Club in Hillbrow. He was the coach of almost the entire Springbok team to the 1956 Olympic Games.
Parktown Boys High graduate Jon Jon Park, son of Mr Universe Reg Park, set new South African records in the 100m and 200m butterfly at the 1976 nationals in Durban, before going to swim for Britain at the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games.
When Ryk Neethling broke the South African 1500m freestyle record in 1994, it was the mark set by his coach Simon Gray at the South African swimming championships at Durban in March 1976. As a ten year old Simon challenged Lee McGregor in the 1500 at the 1972. Born in England, Simon went on to swim and medal at the 1978 Commonwealth Games and represent Great Britain as the 1980 Olympic Games.
Gary was a Springbok swimmer from Amanzimtoti, who three titles at the US Swimming Championships in 1984. His international renown - or notoriety - comes more from his actions outside the pool more than in it.
Dave was a Rhodesian swimmer who won 5 gold medals at the South African nationals in 1977, before taking up a scholarship at the University of Houston. He became the first British swimmer to go under 50 seconds, and in 1980 he was part of the bronze medal winning British medley relay team at the Moscow Olympic Games.