Hestrie Cloete
Personal information
Born (1978-08-26) 26 August 1978 (age 44)
Germiston, South Africa
Height1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Weight68 kg (150 lb)
SportTrack and field
Event(s)High jump
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)HJ: 2.06 (Saint-Denis 2003)
Medal record
Women's Athletics
Representing  South Africa
Olympic Games
Silver medal – second place 2004 Athens High jump
Silver medal – second place 2000 Sydney High jump
World Championships
Gold medal – first place 2003 Paris High jump
Gold medal – first place 2001 Edmonton High jump
Commonwealth Games
Gold medal – first place 1998 Kuala Lumpur High jump
Gold medal – first place 2002 Manchester High jump
All-Africa Games
Gold medal – first place 1995 Harare High jump
Gold medal – first place 1999 Johannesburg High jump
African Championships
Gold medal – first place 1998 Dakar High jump
Gold medal – first place 2002 Tunis High jump
Gold medal – first place 2004 Brazzaville High jump
Updated on 14 November 2013.

Hestrie Cloete OIS (née Storbeck; born 26 August 1978) is a former South African professional high jumper. Her foremost achievements were winning two world championships and two silver medals at the Olympic Games.


Cloete 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 Cloete 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.[1]

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 spin her index fingers around each other, leaned sideways with her upper body and visualised every step of her attempt.[1]

Cloete retired after the 2004 Summer Olympics to focus on her family.[1]

International competitions

Cloete were awarded numerous international achievements. She achieved her high jump personal best of 2.06 m on 31 August 2003, when winning the gold medal under the World Championships in Paris (African record, as of May 2011)[2]

Year Competition Venue Position Notes
Representing  South Africa
1995 All-Africa Games Harare, Zimbabwe 1st 1.85 m
1996 World Junior Championships Sydney 6th 1.85 m
1998 IAAF World Cup Johannesburg, South Africa 2nd 1.96 m
African Championships Dakar, Senegal 1st 1.92 m
1999 All-Africa Games Johannesburg, South Africa 1st 1.96 m
2000 Olympic Games Sydney 2nd 2.01 m
2001 World Championships Edmonton, Canada 1st 2.00 m
2002 IAAF World Cup Madrid, Spain 1st 2.02 m
Commonwealth Games Manchester, England 1st 1.96 m
African Championships Radès, Tunisia 1st 1.95 m
2003 World Championships Paris, France 1st 2.06 m
2004 Olympic Games Athens, Greece 2nd 2.02 m
African Championships Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo 1st 1.95 m

Personal life

Cloete grew up under her maiden name Storbeck in the small railway town of Coligny with her mother Martie and father Willem. She divorced her first husband in 2004 and married Afrikaans singer Jurie Els on 30 September 2005, gave birth to a daughter Chrizette on 5 October 2006 and moved to New Zealand early in 2008. Hestrie and Jurie's son Jason John Els was born in New Zealand on 23 July 2008. The couple resides in Bayview, Auckland on the North Island and Hestrie is a property manager while Jurie still pursues his music career and has a small business Retro Records which sells collectible 2nd hand Pop and Rock vinyl records.[3]


See also


  1. ^ a b c "Hestrie Cloete". South African History. Retrieved 10 October 2019.
  2. ^ "Cloete – heartbreak and gold". IAAF. 1 September 2003. Retrieved 10 October 2019.
  3. ^ News24: I'm 100% behind Jurie – Hestrie, 24 April 2008. Retrieved 10 October 2019.
  4. ^ "Hestrie Cloete (1978 – )". The Presidency. Retrieved 10 October 2019.