Ryk Neethling on Cape Town

Ryk Neethling on Cape Town

The Olympic gold-medallist, property developer and marketing guy, 37, on the fleetingness of fame and living each day as if it’s your last.

The things I love most about living in the winelands are the friendly people, incredible natural beauty, and there’s enough things to do for a lifetime. I live in a place called Val de Vie, which means “valley of life” – and it really is just that.

When out-of-towners come to the Cape, I take them to Paarl, Franschhoek, and over the impressive Helshoogte Pass into Stellenbosch. In town, I take them to the Waterfront, for a stroll on the Sea Point Promenade, for lunch in Camps Bay, for a drive around Chapman’s Peak Drive and to the Constantia wine valley. We live in the most beautiful area in the world. Like I said, a lifetime is not enough to experience it all.

Some of my favourite restaurants include Beluga, KOI, Shimmy Beach Club, Reuben’s in Franschhoek, Wijnhuis in Stellenbosch and Terra Mare in Paarl.

The best burger I’ve eaten recently was at Polo Club, the restaurant at Val de Vie.

An annual Cape Town event I always attend is the Cintron Pink Polo and Veuve Clicquot Masters at Val de Vie – I never miss those. Apart from that, I don’t go out much.

Because I live on a farm in the winelands it is always a treat for me to stay at The Commodore Hotel in the Waterfront and enjoy the city on weekends.

On my bucket list to still do in the Cape is Table Mountain – I haven’t been up in ages. I’d also like to ride The Argus and run the Two Oceans Marathon one day.

The best coffee in my area is from Bean in Love in Paarl.

There are so many beautiful walks in the Cape – pick a mountain and go climb it!

My drink of choice for a special occasion depends on my mood… a good red wine, a cold white Rhône blend, or a cold beer.

To unwind, I exercise.

On Sundays I try to get in as much exercise as possible – I am a real weekend warrior.

Being a famous sportsman really is a great privilege, but it doesn’t last very long.

Straight after this, I’m going to bed!

I believe in taking life one day at a time. When my sister was 13 they told her that she only had 10 days to live because of a brain tumour. That was 20 years ago, but it taught my family to make the most of everyday and live every day like it is your last.

Ryk is the marketing director of Val de Vie.
Follow him on Twitter @RykNeethling

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Time of publication: 24 October 2014