Rob Hersov’s poetic tribute to SA’s one-of-a-kind world champion Oscar Chalupsky

By Rob Hersov

Artwork by David Doubell

When we think of the giants  

Roaming the earth, 

The good ones, with love strength and heart.

Some wear masks or a cape, or carry an axe,

And it’s hard to tell them apart. 

But not with our Oscar, 

Chalupsky that is, 

A true hero and leader of men,  

He’s fearless and loving and incredibly strong,

And made of things we won’t see again. 

He now has wires in his heart and pipes in his lung,

And a chunk carved right out of his head, 

But he gives the thumbs up, 

And he’d give you a hug, 

If he could only leap out of his bed. 

He conquered the ocean, no wave was too high,

No wind too impossibly fast, 

On his surfski for 40 odd years he was king,

And certainly his records will last. 

And it wasn’t just surfski, it was rugby and more,

Where Oscar excelled – he even wasnt a Boer!

A schoolboy from Durban and IronMan star,

Colors in polo, life saving, all hang in the bar.

But his greatest achievement, the loves of his life,

Are Hannah and Luke. And his majestic Clare wife. 

His power and glory are built inside them, 

And his bravery and love make them 11 out of 10! 

He now fights a battle, that nobody wins,

As it’s surely a journey one way, 

But the way that he fights, 

Inspires us all, 

and we know it will be us soon one day. 

So Oscar – you hero,  

You man amongst men, 

You bring out the best in us all, 

Your legend will live on in all of our hearts,

And will make us stand up and stand tall. 

Keep fighting the fight, dear brother, 

we love you forever! 

Rob and Kate Hersov 

November 2023

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