Brett ready for Olympic plunge

 

Brett Fraser is in a unique position heading to his second Olympics. The Cayman swimmer knows he is blessed but he is hoping to make noise in London. 

Brett, along with older brother Shaune Fraser, are heading to the 2012 London Olympics. Both will swim in the 200 metre freestyle competition with Brett, 21, also tackling the 50m and 100m free (he has a B qualifying standard in both events).  

For the brothers London will be their second time on the Olympic stage. Three years ago, the duo represented the Cayman Islands at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. 

Brett, a George Town native, states he is mentally prepared to turn heads in the United Kingdom. 

“It feels great heading to London,” Fraser said. “It’s certainly harder this time around. I feel I can show more than I did last time. I’m excited for this one. It was great to qualify in the 200m free. I’m happy because at the last championships in Shanghai I just missed the semi-finals. 

“I had a lot of motivation for California and I pushed myself for it. What has helped me a lot is better training at the University of Florida.” 

Shaune, who turned 23 in March, was the first of the brothers to qualify for London. At the Fédération Internationale de Natation world championships in Shanghai, China he made it to the semi-finals in the 200m (against the likes of Michael Phelps) with a time of 1:47.73. Brett would notch a time of 1:47.56 in the 200m at the US Nationals in Palo Alto, California. 

Brett, who turns 22 on 28 August, states he relishes the idea of swimming beside his brother at the Olympics. 

“I’m pretty used to swimming with Shaune. It will be a different experience competing against him this time. But it’s great sharing these moments with him. I’m just grateful we can do well in this sport. 

“For me personally it’s big I got the Olympic qualifying standard in three events. I was upset at my Shanghai 100m performance. I wanted the A qualification in all of my events. Even though foreigners could not swim twice at the US nationals, I got an A standard now.” 

Interestingly Brett was here for about a week, leaving the island yesterday. He took time to relax at home alongside his dad Jim Fraser and mum Laurice Fraser. Joining him were training partners Rodian Davelaar (who hails from Curacao) and Robbie Hayes (an American). 

All were at a gathering at the Royal Palms last week. Organized by the Cayman Islands Amateur Swimming Association, the Stingray Swim Club and the Camana Bay Aquatic Club, the function gave residents a chance to meet and congratulate Brett. 

Brett states he was amazed at not only the amount of people who attended but at the overall reception he received while at home. 

“I got in last Monday, around 12noon and I’m leaving Tuesday. It was a little overwhelming for me. At first it was just family and friends from years back that congratulated me. But then I had strangers coming up to me too. It’s good knowing that people acknowledge me a lot and what I’ve done. It makes me feel more at home.” 

While Brett was here for some rest and relaxation, Shaune took part in altitude training in Colorado. The next major meet for the brothers is expected to be the Pan Am Games in Guadalajara, Mexico. After that Brett states there are a number of events to attend. 

“From here I’m going back to Gainesville and doing another year of training at the University of Florida. It will be the same coaches and the same stuff I’ve been doing. 

“The Pan Ams are in October and that will be the next big focus for me. It will be at altitude, which will be a challenge. A lot of big cities this fall are on my radar in Shanghai, Singapore and Tokyo (all locales for the 2011 FINA World Cup swimming events). Next year I will be doing a lot of domestic grand prix meets in the US. 

“This year I learned how to swim more efficiently and easier. I take the little things I do seriously and focus more on them. Because of this summer I’m confident I can do great things 
next year.” 

Brett Fraser

Brett Fraser, kneeling, got support from a number of young swim fans at Royal Palms. – PHOTOS: SUBMITTED
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