Cameron van der Burgh is arguably South Africa’s most famous swimmer. He has won several medals in the Olympics and other global events, but how well do you know the man behind the name? This biography has information on his age, education, medals, career, coronavirus illness, wife, and more. Read on!
Cameron van der Burgh may have retired from professional swimming, but he continues to remain relevant. Read this article to find out how he achieved his status.
- Full name: Cameron van der Burgh
- Nickname: Killa Cam
- Date of birth: May 25th, 1988
- Age: 32 years
- Place of birth: Pretoria
- Nationality: South African
- Occupations: Athlete (retired), hedge fund analyst
- Titles: Order of Imkhanga Silver (OIS)
- Marital status: Married to Nefeli Valakelis
- Cameron van der Burgh Instagram: @cameronvdburgh
- Cameron van der Burgh Twitter: @cameronvdburgh
- Height: 1.85m or 6 feet, 1 inch
- Cameron van der Burgh weight: 85kg or 187 pounds
Cameron van der Burgh biography
He was born in Pretoria on May 25th, 1988. This makes Cameron van der Burgh age 32 years. His mother’s name is Bev van der Burgh. Cameron van der Burgh brother is Andrew van der Burgh, and he is a chartered accountant. Contrary to popular belief, he is not related to Quinton van der Burgh.
As a child, he had developmental hardships especially ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). Doctors prescribed Ritalin for this condition but it did not work. His parents then decided to point him in the direction of sports (swimming) and the rest is history.
He attended Glenstantia Primary School and went on to matriculate at Crawford College in 2006, and he studied Financial Management through the University of South Africa (UNISA) as a part-time student.
One of his earliest wins was when he won the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) School Challenge in 2005.
He is most well-known for having represented South Africa in the following Olympics:
- 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China
- 2012 Summer Olympics in London, England
- 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Apart from these, he made his debut at the 2007 World Championships and took home a Bronze medal. Then, he won more, including Gold and Silver medals. He is also a three-time winner of the Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA) or International Swimming Federation overall World Cup.
He participated in the Commonwealth Games of 2010 and set a new record in the 50m men’s breaststroke at 27.18 seconds. He did the same at the 100m men’s breaststroke at the 2012 London Olympics at 54.46 seconds.
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However, he later revealed that he achieved this by using dolphin kicks, which are banned in the event. Video playback from the underwater cameras revealed that he did use this illegal technique three times. FINA responded by stating that there is a possibility they may use video playback from underwater cameras to judge events but that they were not going to take away his medals or record.
In 2014, he was announced as one in a group of 54 people that were going to receive the 2014 National Orders. He was presented the title of Order of Ikhamanga Silver (OIS) for excellent achievement. The title is presented to recognize South African citizens who have excelled in the fields of arts, culture, literature, music, journalism, and sport.
He has won the following medals in the following major events:
Summer Olympic Games
- 2012 – Gold, 100m men’s breaststroke
- 2016 – Silver, 100m men’s breaststroke
- 2007 – Gold, 100m men’s breaststroke
- 2007 – Gold, 50m men’s breaststroke
- 2011 – Gold, 100m men’s breaststroke
- 2011 – Gold, 50m men’s breaststroke
Aquatic Sports World Championship
- 2007 – Bronze, 50m men’s breaststroke
- 2009 – Bronze, 100m men’s breaststroke
- 2009 – Gold, 50m men’s breaststroke
- 2011 – Bronze, 100m men’s breaststroke
- 2011 – Bronze, 50m men’s breaststroke
- 2013 – Silver, 100m men’s breaststroke
- 2013 – Gold, 50m men’s breaststroke
- 2015 – Silver, 100m men’s breaststroke
- 2015 – Silver, 50m men’s breaststroke
- 2017 – Bronze, 50m men’s breaststroke
World Swimming Championship (25m)
- 2008 – Bronze, 50m short-course men’s breaststroke
- 2008 – Silver, 100m short-course men’s breaststroke
- 2010 – Silver, 50m short-course men’s breaststroke
- 2010 – Gold, 100m short-course men’s breaststroke
- 2014 – Silver, 50m short-course men’s breaststroke
- 2016 – Gold, 50m short-course men’s breaststroke
- 2018 - Gold, 100m short-course men’s breaststroke
- 2018 - Gold, 50m short-course men’s breaststroke
- 2010 – Gold, 50m men’s breaststroke
- 2010 – Gold, 100m men’s breaststroke
- 2010 – Silver, 400m men’s medley relay
- 2014 – Gold, 50m men’s breaststroke
- 2014 – Silver, 100m men’s breaststroke
- 2014 – Bronze, 400m men’s medley relay
- 2018 – Gold, 50m men’s breaststroke
- 2018 – Bronze, 100m men’s breaststroke
- 2018 – Bronze, 400m men’s medley relay
Cameron van der Burgh retirement from professional swimming was announced in 2018 after he won a Gold medal at the FINA Short Course World Swimming Championships.
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Cameron van der Burgh spouse
He is married to Nefeli Valakelis. He proposed to her in the Swiss Alps in 2016 and the ceremony was held on July 2nd, 2018 in Athens, Greece.
Some of the attendees at the Cameron van der Burgh wedding were Ryk Neethling, Sanani Mangisa, and Chad le Clos. The latter is a professional swimmer that was also a member of the SA Olympic team 2016. Cameron van der Burgh wedding photos were broadcasted by SABC3 on Top Billing.
The couple is expecting their first child in September, as reported in a recent Cameron van der Burgh News24 article quoting his Instagram.
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On March 22nd, 2020, he revealed through a Twitter thread that he had contracted COVID-19 and had been suffering for 14 days.
That concludes our biography of Cameron van der Burgh. If you found it informative, let us know in the comments below.
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