OMEGA brand ambassadors Chad le Clos and Alexander Popov share the Olympic Spirit with guests from around the world.
Blending the best of winter and summer sporting worlds, OMEGA invited Olympic swimmers and brand ambassadors Chad le Clos and Alexander Popov to the OMEGA Pavilion on 22 February for a unique question-and-answer session that focused on their Olympic accomplishments and the factors behind their success.
Reminiscing on their achievements in the pool and their Olympic highlights and memories, the two swimming stars shared what it meant for them to achieve the goals they’d set for themselves.
“I think my dream really began in 2004 when I watched Michael [Phelps] for the first time at the Athens Olympics and through the years it came more and more into focus. In 2010 was the first time I realised that I could go to the Games after the Youth Olympics in Singapore,” Mr le Clos said of his Olympic dream.
Mr le Clos joined OMEGA's family of brand ambassadors in 2011. Chad made a strong impression on OMEGA at the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in Singapore in 2010 when he collected five medals. At the London 2012 Olympic Games, he took home gold and silver medals in the 200- and 100-metre butterfly events respectively and further established himself as a dominant force in the swimming pool. He led in the standings throughout the World Cup series, claiming more medals than any other male swimmer, and was named FINA World Cup 2013 Champion.
Describing the role his family has played in his success, Mr le Clos said: “I think that especially at the beginning stages of my career [their support] was everything. Without my family, my mom and my dad, I would never be where I am today. I’m a big daddy’s boy, it’s no secret, but to have my father in my corner all the time and to have my family supporting me, they’ve always been like they say in soccer, the 12th man.”
Known for his dominance in sprint swimming throughout the 1990s, Alexander Popov is a four-time Olympic champion who achieved greatness after winning back-to-back gold medals in the 50m and 100m freestyle events at the Barcelona and Atlanta Olympic Games in 1992 and 1996 respectively. He also collected six World Championship and 21 European Championship titles between 1991 and 2004. The swimming legend has continued to demonstrate a true passion for competitive sport with his strong ties to the International Olympic Committee and dedication to future Games.
Mr Popov explained that being mentally prepared for competition is only part of what a swimmer needs to achieve his or her goals. “I would say 60 per cent of success at the beginning of a season relies on being physically fit, and then a swimmer can continue to build their technique on top of that,” he said.
“We have a long history with water since OMEGA’s early days and swimming, being one of the most premium sports in the Olympic world and in the world of sports, is a natural fit for us,” OMEGA President Stephen Urquhart said of the link between the brand and swimming. He added that Mr Popov was the brand’s first swimming brand ambassador and since then OMEGA has worked with Ian Thorpe, Michael Phelps and Chad le Clos. “With Chad we have the future ensured for the next Games in Rio and Tokyo and hopefully beyond,” he said.
“I think it’s great to be sitting here today in the middle of the Olympic Winter Games talking about swimming. I think it shows the spirit of the Olympic Movement and of Olympic sport,” OMEGA President Stephen Urquhart said.
OMEGA and swimming
The association between OMEGA and swimming dates back to 1932 when the brand was first entrusted with the official timekeeping of all disciplines at the Olympic Games including swimming. The relationship is still going strong – OMEGA serves as official timekeeper at the world’s highest-profile swimming events and has also been responsible for the development of much of the most important equipment used to time competitive swimming.
To find out more about OMEGA’s involvement in the world of swimming, please visit this link.
OMEGA and the Olympic Games
OMEGA was the first company to be entrusted with the Official Timekeeping of all the events included in the Los Angeles 1932 Olympic Games. Our association with the Games has led to more than 80 years of pioneering developments in the field of sports timekeeping and in Sochi we will assume the responsibilities of Official Timekeeper for the 26th time.
Discover OMEGA's role at Sochi 2014 by following this link.
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