Fred Deburghgraeve from Roeselare, Belgium surprised everyone by breaking the World Record in one of the heats of the 100m Breaststroke at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
In an interview the same day he said "I was surprised that I set the world record this morning. After 75 meters I saw I had the advantage over the others and needed to keep my stroke level. I knew if I won the fastest heat, I would be in the final. I am glad that I set the world record because I proved to myself I could do it. Now I can swim tonight." Later that day he won the Gold Medal in the event, the first swimmer from Belgium ever to do so.
His Dutch coach, Ronald Gaastra, lived nearly 100 kilometers from Roeselare. Gaastra communicated work-outs by phone and visits once a week. Deburghgraeve said "I always train by myself. Sometimes it's hard because I am in the water from 5:30-7:30 am. Sometimes my father is there. I am the oldest one in the club; the second oldest one is 17. I don't have many friends to play with in Belgium. My father was my coach. He was in water polo. We started together and I was getting better and better. I was disappointed with my Barcelona swim in 1992 (he slipped on the block at the start) and dropped out of swimming for six months. My father didn't really see me as a world class swimmer back then".
He is now retired from swimming and makes a living as a shoe salesman.