Cheer on Roland as he joins the South African swim team in the 2012 Olympics in London.

This will be his 4th Olympic appearance. He participated in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, 2004 in Athens and 2000 in Sydney.

Roland was born in Pretoria on March 7, 1980. Nicknamed “The Rocket”, he is an Olympic gold medalist and is South Africa’s most successful swimmer; he holds the world record in the short-course 50 meter freestyle, becoming the first man to swim the distance in under 21 seconds.

He first took interest in the sport when he was 13 years old and began to compete three years later. Roland attended the University of Arizona on scholarship and broke several NCAA records during his collegiate career. He graduated with degrees in Psychology and Communications.

Although he is asthmatic, Roland holds multiple records in the 100 m freestyle, 50 m freestyle, 100 m butterfly and 50 m butterfly events. He was voted the African Swimmer of the Year by Swimming World in 2004, 2005 and 2006 and the South African Swimmer of the Year in 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006. He was elected South African Sports Star of the Year in 2004.

Out of the pool, Roland is an avid golfer and splits his time between the United States and South Africa.

 

 

  • 2010

    L’Equipe Magazine Voted in Top 5 of South Africa’s best ever sportsman

    2009 

    The Times Newspaper South African Athlete of the decade

    SA Journalists Nominated along side Lucas Radebe, Ernie Els and Percy Montgomery as South Africa’s greatest male athlete of the century.

    University of Pretoria Sportsman of the year

    2007

    University of Pretoria Hall of Fame

    Arizona Hall of Fame

    Swimming South Africa Athlete of the Year

    Swimming World Magazine African Swim Swimmer of the Year

    Presidential Award Order of Ikhamanga in Silver awarded for excellent achievements in the field of swimming.

    2006

    University of Pretoria Hall of Fame

    Free State Sport Journalists S A Sport Star of the Year

    Swimming World Magazine African Swim Star of the Year

    Swimming South Africa Athlete of the Year

    Swimming South Africa Performance of the Year

    You Magazine S A Sport Star of the Year

    2005

    University of Pretoria Hall of Fame

    Free State Sport Journalists S A Sport Star of the Year

    Swimming World Magazine African Swim Star of the Year

    Swimming World Magazine Rising Veteran of the Year

    Swimming South Africa Athlete of the Year

    Swimming South Africa Chairman’s Award

    Swimming South Africa Member – Team of the Year

    2004

    Sport Media S A Sport Star of the Year

    Free State Sport Journalists S A Sport Star of the Year

    You Magazine S A Sport Star of the Year

    Swimming World Magazine African Swim Star of the Year

    Swimming South Africa Athlete of the Year

    5fm/Archers Aqua “Hottie” of the Year

  • Long Course (50 Meter Pool)

    50m Butterfly – 22.96 Seconds – 2005 (First man under 23 seconds)

    50m Butterfly – 23.01 Seconds – 2005

    4 x 100 m Freestyle Relay - 3 min 13.17 Seconds – 2004

    Short Course (25 Meter Pool)

    50 m Freestyle - 21.31 Seconds – Equalled record, 2000

    50 m Freestyle – 21.28 Seconds – 2000

    100 m Freestyle – 46.25 Seconds – 2005, Joint World Record holder

    100 m Individual Medley – 52.51 Seconds – 2005

    50 m Freestyle – 20.98 Seconds – 2006 (First man under 21 seconds)

    50 m Freestyle – 20.64 Seconds – 2008

    50 m Freestyle – 20.30 Seconds – 2009

     

    Commonwealth Games Records

    50 m Butterfly (Long Course) – 23.01 seconds – 2005

    50 m Butterfly (Long Course) – 22.96 Seconds – 2005 (First man under 23 seconds)

    50 m Freestyle (Long Course) – 22.03 Seconds – 2006

    100 m Freestyle (Long Course) – 48.17 Seconds – 2006

    100 m Freestyle (Short Course) – 46.25 Seconds – 2005

    50 m Butterfly (Short Course) 22.74 Seconds – 2006

    4 x 100 m Freestyle Relay (Long Course) – 3 Minutes 13.17 Seconds – 2004

     

    AFRICAN RECORDS 

    Long Course (50 Meter Pool)

    50 m Freestyle – 21.69 Seconds – 2005

    50 m Freestyle – 21.67 Seconds – 2008

    100 m Freestyle – 48.17 Seconds – 2004

    50 m Butterfly – 22.90 Seconds – 2009

    100 m Butterfly – 52.73 Seconds – 2004

    4 x 100 m Freestyle Relay – 3 Minutes 13.17 Seconds – 2004

    4 x 100 m Medley Relay – 3 Minutes 39.02 Seconds – 2002

    4 x 100 m Freestyle Relay – 3 min 13.06 Seconds – 2008

    Short Course (25 Meter Pool)

    50 m Freestyle – 21.22 Seconds – 2000

    50 m Freestyle – 20.87 Seconds – 2008

  • NCAA (NATIONAL COLLEGIATE ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION) EXPERIENCE

    NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS

    100m Freestyle – 1999 – SILVER (Broke 6 year record)

    50m Freestyle – 1999 – BRONZE (Broke 6 year record)

    400m Freestyle Relay – 1999 – BRONZE

    200m Medley Relay – 1999 – BRONZE

    50m Freestyle – 2000 – GOLD

    100m Freestyle – 2000 – SILVER

    100m Butterfly – 2000 – BRONZE

    200m Medley Relay – 2000 – SILVER

    200m Freestyle Relay – 2000 – BRONZE

    400m Freestyle Relay – 2000 – BRONZE

    50m Freestyle – 2002 – GOLD

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Cheer Roland on as he goes for the gold  for South Africa in the 2012 London Olympics. Send him a message, or any general inquiries, below:

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