Shaune and Brett Fraser deserve heroes welcomes when they return to the Cayman Islands in a couple of weeks after superb swims at the London Olympics, which confirmed them as world-class performers.
Brett, in his second Olympics, came sixth in the 50 metres freestyle, finishing in 22.91 seconds on Thursday. It ranked him 32nd in the world. He is also world ranked 12th in the 200m freestyle and 15th in the 100m freestyle.
Shaune finished his third Olympics ranked 16th in the 100m free and 20th in the 200m free. The boys’ mother Laurice was at poolside at the Aquatics Centre. She said: “They did phenomenally well. I’m very pleased with their results, I’m sure they are too.
“Actually, having two sons in the same event was very nerve racking. My support was with both of them.
“I think that youngsters coming through should know that they can set their goals high. It does not matter unless you work long and hard, stay dedicated, stay focused and they can achieve anything they put their minds to.”
Younger brother Kyle wants to emulate Brett, 22, and Shaune, 24, and their parents know the importance of their support, physical as well as financial.
“Family support is key,” said Laurice. “You have other supporters such as the Olympic Committee and corporate sponsors, but certainly, swimmers need their parents, siblings and whoever else is there for them. If they have that it is definitely a plus for them.”
Brett said: “It is one of the best feelings in the world to have your parents come and support you. All the way from the beginning to the end, I think that was the biggest drive for me to get here and I couldn’t have done it without them.” Jim Fraser was in London too. He said: “Both my sons have got here because of each other. As a parent, you just sit back and enjoy it obviously knowing that one is going to finish ahead of the other.
“Without each other I don’t think they could have gotten here. They are their own small team and they’ve helped each other enormously.
“Watching them you definitely go through all the emotions. It’s a roller-coaster and you sometimes stay somewhat numb at times. “At a young age parental support is critical. At a young age, they’re the ones who have to get the kids to the pool. Six-year-olds cannot drive themselves to the pool.
“The bottom line is parents have to be supportive of their kids right up until their upper teens, give them the push and be right there for them.”
Brett and Shaune are going to take a short holiday in Europe before resuming their arduous training. Brett said: “I’m going to take a little break, as every athlete needs once they’ve finished up with these Games. It’s been a long, hard four years of training, physically and mentally.
“I’m going on to pursue my masters degree and an MBA hopefully keeping swimming in mind as I have for the past four years. The Rio de Janeiro Olympics is definitely a possibility for both of us so we’ll see when it gets closer because you have to put in a lot of work.
“The training I’ve done since I was very young will probably stick with me for the rest of my lifetime. We’re going to keep building that base and see what we have in Rio.” Laurice added: “Both of my kids have certainly made Cayman proud and they have a lot of supporters there and I just want to say thank you.
“They have been very dedicated and focused and excellent ambassadors for the Cayman Islands. And for all those aspiring athletes coming up I wish them all the best.
“Brett and Shaune will be available to give them pointers. It is their choice if they continue to the next Olympics but they have their tertiary education to further and once they are able to balance it I’m sure they’re going to make their own decision.”
Jim feels there is a lot more to come from the torpedo brothers. He said: “I truly believe the best is yet to come. Right now they are physically and emotionally drained and in no time they will be recharged and back for 2016.”