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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Two brothers from UF will compete at the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing. However, there will be no sibling rivalr, as this pair of swimmers will be competing as teammates.

Shaune Fraser, 20, and Brett Fraser, 18, will be swimming together for the Cayman Island's Olympic team in August.

Shaune will be swimming the 100 and 200 Freestyle, along with the 100 Butterfly. Brett will take on the 200 Backstroke.

After growing up in the Cayman Islands, being in the water has just become second nature.

"Growing up in the islands, there was water everywhere," Brett said. "I just loved being in it."

This passion for swimming turned into a competition by age 7.

"When I was young, I was into several different sports," Shaune said. "When I realized I was good at swimming, I decided to stick with it."

Their natural abilities made the dream of making it to the Olympics one that these brothers always believed to be attainable.

But there were a few years where Brett doubted his potential. As he began to train more intensely, his childhood dreams of qualifying for the games became achievable.

This trip to Beijing will be a repeated dream for Shaune. In 2004, Shaune, just 16 at the time, competed in the Summer Olympics in Athens.

Then it came time to try to take his skills to an even higher level in Gainesville.

"I came to UF to see if I could improve and see where it takes me," Shaune said.

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According to UF coach Gregg Troy, it is not surprising that his talents took him to this summer's games.

"They are both great swimmers with good natural abilities," Troy said. "I have confidence in them both."

He will be cheering the boys on in Beijing along with their parents and younger brother. The brothers agree that their family members have been their biggest fans.

"Our dad has always been there to support us. He'll do anything we need to be successful," Shaune said.

When Brett joined Shaune at UF, the elder brother knew that the coaches and support system would help put his younger brother on the road to Beijing.

"I knew he had the talent to do it," Shaune said. "It was nice to see him qualify and know I wouldn't be alone."

Brett echoes his older brother's excitement about braving the games together.

"It helps going with him because he's more experienced. It will be nice to have the support and have someone to talk to," he said.

According to the brothers, their feelings regarding the games are a blend of nerves and excitement.

"I'm a little of both. Mainly, excited to see what I can do," Shaune said. "My training has been going really well."

Their journey to the games is a testament to their work thus far. With no definite expectations in mind, the brothers are going simply for the experience.

"It's a great experience no matter what the outcome," Troy said. "They'll be better swimmers for it."

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