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Paralympian gold medallist Bouwer heads back home
- Updated: October 11, 2013
Treble Paralympian Charl Bouwer will leave a hole in Western Cape swimming as he heads back to “Big Hole” country, writes Mark Etheridge.
Bouwer, who won gold and silver in the pool at the London Paralympics last year, is retiring to Kimberley his birthplace, after he completes his studies.
The tall partially sighed athlete, this week received the Maties Disabled Athlete of the Year award in Stellenbosch as a reward for a year of solid efforts.
“Yes, I’m leaving for Kimberley at the end of next month,” he told Road to Rio 2016. “I’ve reached that time of my life when I don’t want to be a student anymore. But I’ll still carry on with my swimming and will also get involved in my family’s business.
“I think every person has a period in their life where they are ‘free’ and can have a nice life and now it’s time for me to work on my future apart from swimming.”
But Bouwer is certainly not going to be lost to swimming, which will please swimming authorities as he has become something of a medal-banker in Paralympic events.
“I’m still going to be training hard and my goals for Rio are already outlined. I’m going back to Ebert Kleinhans who was my coach in Beijing, 2008 and he coached me to a gold there. So I’ve got every confidence in him and Christof van Zyl who is my biokineticist as well as a good friend.
Those two are a hot-shot team and along with current coach Pierre de Roubaix I really can’t ask for better.”
There are somethings that Bouwer won’t miss about the Western Cape. “I have to admit I’m getting a bit “gatvol” [sick and tired] of the Cape winters,” he smiled. “So I’m looking forward to going back to Kimberley although it will be a challenge for sure.”
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