Henri Schoeman delivered the performance of his life on Thursday,bagging South Africa’s eighth medal of the Rio Olympics. However here’s 7 things you didn’t know about him.
1. He had a chest infection before the race
Schoeman’s preparations for the biggest race of his life was threatened by a common cold turned chest infection. However, he overcame the scare showing champion like qualities to add another medal to South Africa’s Olympic tally. He is South Africa’s 78th medal at the Games overall since the first one the country competed in which was in 1904.
2. He made history at Rio
What made Henri’s achievement that more remarkable is that he is South Africa’s and Africa’s first medalist at an Olympic Games in the triathlon event.
3. His brother also represented South Africa at the Olympics
Henri’s brother, Riaan, has represented South Africa at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing and the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Riaan also won a bronze medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India in the 400m Individual Medley.
4. Henri missed the opening ceremony in Rio
While athletes from all over the world were enjoying the uniqueness of the Rio opening ceremony at the Maracana Stadium, Schoeman opted to stay in South Africa and continue his training.
5. He schooled in Durban North and uMhlanga
Henri is a former Atholton Primary School pupil and completed his high schooling career at Oakridge College.
6. Henri is coached by his dad
While Tannie Ans Botha’s (Wade van Niekerk’s coach) name has become a household name, a little known fact is that Henri is coached by his dad, Joe Schoeman. His swimming coach is Alisdair Hatfield.
7. He beat his more favoured opponent by 7 seconds
While he was unable to stick with the relentless pace of British brothers Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee, Henri crossed the line ahead of his more favoured teammate, Richard Murray. Murray crossed the line in fourth place, seven seconds behind Schoeman.