In 2015, when load-shedding began to take a firmer, relentless grip on the country, Chad le Clos sat in the gallery at parliament in Cape Town for the state of the nation address (Sona). Le Clos had been invited as a guest of then president Jacob Zuma. 

Zuma acknowledged Le Clos in his speech, and as the camera swung to the Olympic champion, a somewhat shy and apparently bemused Le Clos nodded and smiled, perhaps wondering what the hell he was doing there. Was it really worth beating Michael Phelps to have to go through this? ..

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