Le Clos encounter: School-dodging pupil earns a dance date with Gold Medallist swimmer

It took a lot of glitter, cardboard and sticky-back paper but Melanie Olhaus’ poster charmed the returning South African hero.

Chad Le Clos with supporters upon his arrival into Johannesburg.
Chad Le Clos with supporters upon his arrival into Johannesburg.
Image: AP Photo/Themba Hadebe

OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALLIST Chad le Clos made a teenager’s day by agreeing to go to her school dance when she wooed him with a poster at a Johannesburg airport.

“I just started to cry. I was shaking and I was so nervous,” said Melanie Olhaus, 17, after Le Clos agreed to be her date.

The South African swimmer beat US legend Michael Phelps by five-hundredths of a second to take gold in the 200m butterfly at London 2012.

His unexpected victory catapulted the tanned 20-year-old to instant stardom in his country.

The final year pupil at Glenvista High School in Johannesburg skipped class on Tuesday to try her luck when Le Clos was at the OR Tambo International Airport to welcome back the rest of the country’s Olympic team returning from London.

The class-dodging student held up a baby blue poster with the words “Chad, will you be my matric dance date???” together with pictures of her and him holding his gold medal.

The matric dance is farewell ball for final year school students.

Taking maybe as a definitely

“He said he thinks he’s in the country at that time and he’ll try and make it,” Olhaus told Beeld newspaper on Thursday.

“I didn’t have a matric dance date yet and I thought, why not. He’s just so gorgeous.”

School principal Marius Robinson showed understanding for her bunking. He remarked:

Let’s just say it was an urgent personal appointment.

Olhaus said other girls would not be allowed to dance with the Olympic champion.

“No, no no. All mine,” she joked.

- © AFP, 2012

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