Gymnast Fraser channels the creative spirit in pursuit of Olympic glory
After rising to the top of the gymnastics world ladder with world gold in 2019, Joe Fraser, bound for Tokyo, had to use all his creativity during the Covid-19 pandemic in order to achieve his Olympic dream .
The 22-year-old will make his first appearance on the sport’s biggest stage at this summer’s rescheduled Games, having been named alongside Max Whitlock, Giarnni Regini-Moran and James Hall to the men’s artistic gymnastics team at four from the GB team.
After team silver as part of the GB setup at the 2018 European Championships, Fraser made a real statement in the sport with world gold on individual parallel bars a year later becoming the first British gymnast to win a medal in the discipline.
Such momentum was interrupted by the impending pandemic a few months later, but the Birmingham native – who won European bronze on pommel horse when he returned to competition last month – has found ways to maintain his form and his candidacy for the Olympic selection.
Turn dreams into reality! Selected for my first OLYMPIC GAMES! Thanks everyone for being there for the past 17 years and kudos to everyone involved let’s go enjoy it baby 🤾🏽♂️❤️ pic.twitter.com/WghTlPURsq
– Joe Fraser (@Joefrasergb) May 24, 2021
Fraser, who is one of more than 1,000 athletes in the UK’s National Lottery-funded World Class program, said: “I spent 13 weeks out of the gym, which was the longest time since I was old. five years.
“It was difficult at first, but I managed to put a pommel horse in my parents’ room and I had a set of rings that I tied around a tree in a tank. I did what I could to keep gymnastics in shape, and reaped the rewards when I finally got back to the gym.
“It took me a while to get back to full swing, but now we’re here and I can’t wait to be in Tokyo. I am extremely happy and proud to have been selected – it took 17 years.
The support Fraser receives from UK Sport’s world-class national lottery-funded program allows him to train full-time, access the best coaches in the world, and benefit from cutting-edge technology, support scientific and medical.
– Joe Fraser (@Joefrasergb) October 14, 2019
Inspired by the success of four-time medalist Louis Smith and two-time gold medalist Whitlock in the Olympic arena, Fraser is now preparing to line up alongside the latter, hoping to add to the 864 Olympic and Paralympic medals won. by Great Britain and Northern Irish athletes since the advent of National Lottery funding in 1997.
He added: “My first Olympic memory is seeing Louis winning bronze in 2008, and I was able to go to Rio five years ago as part of the GB team ambitions program.
“Being able to watch Max and train alongside him has been amazing. He has so much experience and he has helped me develop myself immensely.
“Guys like him made me believe that I could achieve great things if I trained hard, and now – being on a team with Max, Giarnni and James – I can’t wait to see what we do in Tokyo. . ”
No one does more to support our Olympic and Paralympic athletes than the national lottery players, who raise around £ 30million every week for good causes. Discover the positive impact of the national lottery on sport at www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk and get involved using the hashtags: #TNLAthletes #TracktoTokyo