June 28 - South African swimmer Charlene Wittstock is getting ready to marry Prince Albert of Monaco. Gemma Haines reports.
From South African swimmer to Monaco's new modern Princess, Charlene Wittstock has made an Olympian effort in everything she does. Now the young girl from Benoni is about to marry Prince Albert of Monaco. But while Wittstock's future lies in the tiny European state, she hasn't forgotten that her roots lie in Africa - and Africa hasn't forgotten her. Her primary school teacher Marlene Albertyn says Charlene always had a smile. SOUNDBITE: Marlene Albertyn, Charlene Wittstock's former teacher, saying (English) "Charlene was a lovely girl, she got on very well with her peers, she was very liked by the other children. She was very respectful, had wonderful manners, and just a very kind, gentle, loving young girl." Susan Sutton, her maths teacher during high school, says Wittstock was always poised and pleasant. SOUNDBITE: Susan Sutton, Charlene Wittstock's former high school teacher, saying (English) "I'm very very excited for her, I was thrilled. It's very exciting for us when we see the photos and I think nowadays she is very poised young lady, and she reminds me of Princess Grace a little bit." According to those who know Wittstock, swimming was her first love. And it was this first love, that led her to her new love, Prince Albert. In 2000 she won the gold at the Marenostrom Swim Meet in Monaco, where she met Prince Albert II, who was presiding over the event. Charlene has kept up her swimming, putting in good times at this year's Midmar Mile charity swim in February. SOUNDBITE: Branislav Ivkovic, Charlene Wittstock's trainer, saying (English) "She was very good, she looked strong in the water, obviously it was a charity swim, but she looked excellent, very professional, I believe she even had to slow down to wait for some of the celebrities." The pair will be married during a lavish celebration on July 1st. Gemma Haines, Reuters.