South African swimming sensation Michael Houlie took gold in the men’s 50m breaststroke final at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires last week.
The 18-year-old record-breaker swam the fastest time in the history of the Youth Olympics in the semifinals of the 100m event.
The Bishops matric pupil broke the SA record for boys aged 18, previously held by Olympian Cameron van den Burgh.
[INSPIRATION WED] Michael Houlie won a gold medal in the men's 50m breaststroke at the #TeamSAYOG2018 and he joined us in studio for more on his achievement @TeamSA18 @tessvstaden pic.twitter.com/YQZWyKcDoz— CapeTalk on 567AM (@CapeTalk) October 17, 2018
Houlie swam a Youth Olympic Games best in the event with a time of 1:00.23 to qualify 1st to the final.
Van den Burgh, who swam 1:01.73 back in the 2007, took to Instagram to congratulate the young star.
Houlie says he's very happy about his record-breaking success at the Youth Olympics, and swimming his own personal best.
He's been juggling training with his studies and preparations for his exams.
Before the event, the young athlete trained twice on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. He trained once on Wednesday and Saturday and had Sundays off.
Houlie has always been athletic and joined his first swim squad when he was 7-years-old. He says his swimming really took off when he was 12.
He's now back in Cape Town to write his final matric exams. Next year he will move to the US, where he has a five-year swim scholarship at the University of Tennessee.
The teen spoke about how he's managed to balance sport and school and how he maintains a good headspace.
His mom, Colleen, also spoke about how the family has supported his swimming career over the years.
Cameron van den Burgh commented on one of my Instagram photos saying well done. That meant a lot to me.— Michael Houlie, swimmer and Youth Olympic medalist
That semi-final swim was very significant for me because I swam a personal best time. I also managed to break the Youth Olympic record for the 50m and the 100m.— Michael Houlie, swimmer and Youth Olympic medalist
I was a really fast swim for me. I'm happy about it.— Michael Houlie, swimmer and Youth Olympic medalist
Leading up to the Youth Olympics, I still had to write my prelims (preliminary matric exams).— Michael Houlie, swimmer and Youth Olympic medalist
I've got a tutor who has really been hard on me.— Michael Houlie, swimmer and Youth Olympic medalist
Maths, English and Music have come naturally for me. We spend less time focussing on that.— Michael Houlie, swimmer and Youth Olympic medalist
I don't really think about the pressure. A lot of people see me dancing on pool day.— Michael Houlie, swimmer and Youth Olympic medalist
Take a listen to the inspiring discussion: