People of Joburg

7 minutes with Cameron van der Burgh

Oct 10, 2018, Author: Danita Pilley

Cameron van der Burgh grew up in a world of make-believe with an overactive imagination and a busy, busy mind. He couldn’t sit still for long and recalls his biggest punishment as being sent to his room on a timeout. He was like many other boys his age but Cameron’s diagnosis with ADD thankfully came with an alternative treatment to brain-altering drugs: swimming. What was meant to calm him down and give his brain something else to concentrate on, became the biggest catalyst for the life of a World Champion, a Commonwealth Champion, and an Olympic Champion. This year, Cameron swam his final laps at a Commonwealth Games and explained his 50m win over Adam Peaty as the most emotionally memorable of all his swims.

Instragram: @cameronvdburgh

Twitter: @Cameronvdburgh


Tell us an interesting fact about yourself?

I have a huge passion for finance and the markets.

What inspired your love for swimming?

The ability to be free from gravity. I always wanted to fly as a child and being in the water meant I could “Fly” through the water and be weightless.

What would we find on your bedside table?

A digital version of the Financial Times.


Do you have any pre-race rituals?

I always flex my pecks. It helps me to remind myself to have fun and laugh a little in high-pressure situations.

What do you do to de-stress?

I read or study new topics. I love learning and it takes me away from my current worries in the world.

Take us through a typical training session?

Around 10km of swimming in a day followed by two-hour gym session.


What’s your go-to breakfast?

I don’t eat breakfast. I intermittently fast until lunch. Then I go wild and catch up all my calories.

The last thing you googled?

How to clean a wooden deck. We luckily have had a lot of rain and my deck is getting a bit mouldy!

Your top 3 health and fitness tips?

Eat well, exercise daily and keep your mind active by learning new things constantly.

Spread the love
  • 25