‘Clyde the Glide’ embracing monkey business
THE monkey business behind the naming of swimming's new cult hero Clyde Lewis goes beyond dad Andy's zeal for saluting his favourite orang-utan from his favourite Clint Eastwood movie.
Young Lewis, 20, has always embraced the name game played by his family because he has a teenage brother Jimi named after, you guessed it, American rock icon Jimi Hendrix.
Make my day. Proud father Andy has already seen that come true in the golden moment Clyde pushed his body to breaking point for his 400m individual medley triumph on Friday night at the Commonwealth Games.
"Clyde the Glide" is up again in Monday's 200 IM, a relative sprint which won't end this time with him speechless from fatigue and faltering on jelly legs.
"I remember the midwife saying when he was born, 'this one's going to be special', and he's done himself and his country proud," Lewis senior said.
"At first sight, he had a really long body and arms ... and those arms are still serving him well.
"I love my Clint Eastwood movies and always liked the Clyde name so he got it from the orang-utan in Every Which Way But Loose.
"He's into it too ... when Clyde had a few days off swimming at 14 with cramps, we just sat on the couch watching the Dirty Harry films, the old westerns, every Clint Eastwood movie we could find."
In the early 1980s, Lewis was a fullback for Norths, with an occasional Brisbane first grade rugby league game, after playing through the junior ranks at the Devils with future State of Origin forward Trevor Gillmeister.
"Clyde has a far better training ethic than I ever did and you see it with all he puts in," the printing trade veteran said.
Young Lewis explained he was a classic swim kid born from the inspiration of Olympics idol Ian Thorpe.
"I was the classic Thorpey kid story ... seeing him on the news all the time, watching him win his gold medals at the 1994 Olympics and being inspired like the whole of the nation," Lewis said.
It's no coincidence that the Lewis mentality to training has been honed in the same squad as distance swimming standout Ariarne Titmus in the St Peters Western squad of taskmaster coach Dean Boxall.
"Clyde is an absolute warrior and I know he's absolutely committed to doing everything for Australia in the 200 IM as well," Boxall said.