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South Africa's Olympic swimmers get personal backing from Princess Charlene

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When Princess Charlene heard the South African Olympic swimming team were having problems with funding and sponsorship, she stepped in to save the day. The wife of Prince Albert of Monaco offered to host her fellow countrymen in the principality, providing for their lodging and training in the run up the London Olympics 2012.


Charlene, a former world-class swimmer herself, looked delighted this week when she dropped in on the swimmers, many of whom are friends, at the local Louis II pool. She, no doubt, had plenty of tips for the team, based on her own experiences of competing in the Games. The blonde royal competed in the Sydney Olympics in 2000 as part of South Africa's 4x100 freestyle relay team, which finished fifth. She also qualified for the Beijing Olympics, but retired from professional swimming in 2007 before the Games. A Palace spokesperson said: "The princess would like these very promising young athletes to benefit from the best possible conditions before the Games. "With the support of her foundation, the princess made certain the swimmers would follow a rigorous physical preparation programme perfectly adapted to the Olympic Games."

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