Silver medalist Michael Phelps of the U.S. walks with gold medalist Chad le Clos of South Africa in the men's 200m butterfly victory ceremony during the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre. (Photo : Reuters)
Every parent enjoys seeing their child succeed in life, especially at the Olympic Games. The world has grown to see Michael Phelps' mother Debbie cheer on her son, and recently South African swimmer Chad le Clos' father is receiving internet fame for his joyous reaction of his son's accomplishments.
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While Debbie Phelps has been featured numerous times on television, whether its interviews, Subway commercials, or watching her son swim to the finish line, the absence of Phelps' father is quite noticeable.
Where is he?
Fred Phelps has kept a low profile despite the growing records of his son Michael. Fred divorced from Debbie in 1993, when Michael was only nine-years-old. Fred has since remarried and has been a Maryland State Policeman.
The relationship between Michael and his father is considered as distant, but he was seen during the 2004 Athens Summer Olympics, where his son won six gold medal and two bronze medals. For the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Fred was nowhere to be found. He didn't travel to Beijing as Michael continued to break Olympic and world records.
"I'm very proud of him and all he's done," said Fred in 2008. "This is not about me, it's about him."
Unlike the distant bond among the Phelps family, South Africa's Chad le Clos has shown to have a better relationship with his father, Bert.
Le Clos won gold in the 200-meter butterfly on July 31, defeating Michael Phelps by 0.05 seconds. The victory brought tears of joy for Bert and displayed his happiness during an interview with the BBC.
"Unbelievable" said Bert. "Unbelievable, unbelievable. I have never been so happy in my life. It's something indescribable, indescribable. What's happened tonight - it's like I've died and went to heaven and whatever happens in my life now is plain sailing. It's plain sailing."
The excited father continued, "This is unbelievable. Look at [Chad]. He's beautiful, look at this, what a beautiful boy. He is committed like you can't believe. He's the most beautiful boy you could ever meet. Look at him he is crying like me. I love you."
Bert's interview has since been popular on the internet (below).