Brett Fraser, 21, is an inspiration not only to the Cayman Islands, but the two young men he trains with on a regular basis.
Rodion Davelaar, 21, and Robbie Hayes, 22, state Fraser’s success is an incentive for them to be Olympians in the near future.
“We’re trying for the same thing because the Olympics are an unforgettable experience,” Davelaar said. “Going to the Olympics once is an advantage for Brett. It’s the greatest thing in the world and I’m sure it’s part of Brett’s motivational tools.”
“We’re young but we feel there are a lot of good things to come,” Hayes said. “If things continue the way they have, we’ll have success in the pool and more vacations here in Cayman too.”
Last week Davelaar (who is from Curacao) and Hayes (who hails from Georgia) were in Cayman alongside Brett. The young men were here getting a quick break prior to the next round of training at the University of Florida. Brett has his eyes on the Pan Am Games in October (which take place in Guadalajara, Mexico) in addition to Fédération Internationale de Natation World Cup events towards the end of the year and US meets in 2012.
For the record Davelaar came up through the CARIFTA competition and won the Landon von Kanel award when he was 12. Hayes is a versatile Florida State swimmer with a double major in real estate and finance. Both have varying levels of experience with Cayman.
“I swam with both brothers since I was 11 going to CARIFTA,” Davelaar said. “But this is the first time I’ve come to Cayman. It’s beautiful with gorgeous beaches. I really enjoy it here.”
“I’ve known Brett for years,” Hayes said. “I’ve been to Cayman three times now, all with Brett. For me coming here is the perfect way to cap off the summer.”
Brett, who turns 22 on 28 August, will represent Cayman for the second time at the Olympics next year. In London he will be competing in the 200m free alongside his older brother Shaune, 23. Brett, who has a B qualifying standard in the 50m and 100m events, heads to the 2012 Olympics after posting a time of 1:47.56 in the 200m at the US Nationals in Palo Alto, California.
Both Hayes and Davelaar wish the best for Brett.
“I train with him everyday and he deserves this,” Davelaar said. “I’m happy he’s getting his cuts at it. Both Brett and Shaune are strong swimmers at Florida and I’m proud of them.”
“It’s awesome. Brett has a lot of talent,” Hayes said. “From coming here I can see he has his family behind him. This will not be the last Olympics he attends.”