Oscar Chalupsky starts next round of chemo in battle against cancer

South African sporting icon Oscar Chalupsky started his next cycle of chemotherapy on Tuesday in his ongoing battle against his multiple myeloma (MM) cancer diagnosis.


For Chalupsky, who will turn 59 on 1 March 2022, success in the sports world came at an early age.

He started competing internationally at age 14, made the National Surf Lifesaving team at age 15, was the first person in the world to win both Junior and Senior Ironman aged 15, and played for KwaZulu-Natal Schools’ rugby and SA Schools’ water polo.

He also became the youngest canoeing Springbok at age 18, and was the captain of the first SA Paddling team at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona.

Chalupsky went on to win the famed Molokai World Surfski Championships in Hawaii seven years in a row, and then won it on another five occasions, the last being, in 2012 at age 49, exactly 29 years after his first victory as a 20-year-old.

He won his most recent international race at age 55 – and isn’t done yet!

Chalupsky and his wife Clare split their time between living in South Africa and Portugal. The couple have two adult children, Luke and Hannah.

Chalupsky remains active in the sport of surfski worldwide and is one of the sport’s most prominent athletes and advocates, attending events and hosting coaching clinics and giving motivational speeches.

Oscar Chalupsky experienced back pain in 2019

In 2019, Chalupsky began experiencing excruciating back pain.

“I couldn’t sit or sleep. I paddled and exercised around it and still paddled in an international Surfski race in Australia. On returning to Portugal, I had an MRI. In November, the medical team diagnosed me with a tumour pushing against my spinal column. I was informed that the tumour was secondary cancer and the primary cancer could be a number of different types,” he said.

Even though medical treatment is free in Portugal, Chalupsky returned to Mzansi for treatment on the advice of the doctor that it was better to be where most of his family live, for the support. 

Click to read more about Chalupsky’s fight to date against his cancer diagnosis.

The next cycle of chemo starts today, yesterday I had a breakthrough moment. I did my first pull up. It has taken me 1.5yrs My goal is to reach 10 by year end. It has been a long road but it’s very satisfying achieving first goal. Never give up on a goal, no matter what obstacle pic.twitter.com/GKuTlBNZbx

— Oscar Chalupsky (@OscarChalupsky) February 15, 2022

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