Cameron van der Burgh, Olympic swimming champion and world record holder, handed out the Springboks’ jerseys ahead of Saturday’s Test against Australia in The Castle Rugby Championship at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria.
The 24-year-old Van der Burgh won the gold medal in the 100 metre breast stroke at the London Olympic Games recently and set a world record in the final.
Van der Burgh, who represented South Africa at two Olympic Games, admitted to being a big rugby fan. He had a very inspirational message for the Springboks ahead of the match against Australia.
“The Olympic Games was greatest event of my life. You have one chance and there is so much pressure riding on it,” said Van der Burgh, a Commonwealth Games champion in 2010 and holder of a host of other world records in the pool.
“These days the support out there is great and you see it all the time, thanks to things like social media, but that also increases the pressure.
“On the day of the final in London, the pressure was huge. I was told to think of the small things I do very well – those things that I’ve trained hard and do well. And that is my message to you – when you focus on those small things you are the best at, the score will take care of itself.”
Springbok captain Jean de Villiers thanked Van der Burgh for his time and the great message he had for the team.
"I think most of us were in front of our televisions on that night you won gold in London. It's always fantastic to see our fellow South Arican sportsmen and women do well on the international stage and you certainly made all of us very proud with your performances at the Games," said De Villiers.
"Best of luck with your upcoming World Cup event in Dubai - we'll be rooting for you to repeat your London feats over there."