(born August 26, 1978 in Germiston
, South Africa
) was a highly successful South African high jumper
. Her foremost achievments were winning two world championships and two silver medals at Olympic games.
She was discovered at an age of 13 by her long-time coach Martin Marx
, and trained at the Lichtenburg High School
early in her career. She was quickly found to have a very strong will, which had given other coaches trouble coaching her. Hestrie had always put a great significance in maintaining a strong mind, and explained that she finds much of that strength in her faith. In 2003, she was awarded the Order of Ikhamanga in Silver
(OIS) by South African president Thabo Mbeki
for excellence in her sports performances.
Cloete had somewhat unusual habits as she was known to smoke about a pack of cigarettes
a day, and has also stated she loved fast food
. In an attempt to focus before every jump, Cloete characteristically did spins her index fingers around each other, leaned sideways with her upper body and visualized every step of her attempt.
Cloete retired after the 2004 Summer Olympics
to focus on her family.
Hestrie's awarded international achievements follows below. She achieved her high jump personal best of 2.06 m on August 31, 2003 when winning the gold medal under the World Championships
(African record, as of Mai 2011)
Cloete grew up under her maiden name Storbeck in the small railway town
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