FRASER-HOLMES Thomas < Back  
Sport Open Water Swimming
CGA Australia   
Gender Men
Born 09 Oct 1991 in Newcastle, AUS
Height1.94 m
Human Interest
Further Personal Information
Family Partner Jessica Eriksson
Residence Gold Coast, QLD, AUS
Occupation Athlete, Coach
Languages English
Higher education Commerce - Griffith University: Gold Coast, QLD, AUS
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport? He began swimming at age five.
Why this sport? He took up the sport because he enjoyed going to the beach, and his sister was already a swimmer.
Club / Team Griffith University: Australia
Name of coach Michael Bohl [club], AUS
General Interest
Nicknames Tommy, Tom (Twitter profile, 28 Nov 2018; Facebook profile, 10 May 2020)
Hobbies Supporting Australian rugby league club Newcastle Knights. (newcastleherald.com.au, 24 May 2019)
Injuries In 2020 and 2021 he suffered from persistent pain due to wear and tear in his shoulder muscle [subscapularis]. He was offered surgery but declined, due to its potential impact on his preparation for the Olympic Games in Tokyo. (sydneynewstoday.com, 13 Apr 2021)
Sporting philosophy / motto "I definitely see myself as a world champion, and you have to have that mentality to go anywhere in this sport. But I am more the person who has a strong inner belief, and I let my swimming do the talking." (smh.com.au, 12 Jul 2019)
Awards and honours In 2014 he was named Oceania/Australia Male Swimmer of the Year by swimming news website SwimSwam as part of its Swammy Awards. (swimswam.com, 21 Dec 2014)
Famous relatives His partner Jessica Eriksson has competed for Sweden in swimming, including at the short course world and European championships. (SportsDeskOnline, 01 Jan 2021; ec2018results.com, 01 Sep 2018)
Ambitions To win a medal in the 200m freestyle at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. (sydneynewstoday.com, 13 Apr 2021; newcastleherald.com.au, 14 Apr 2021)
Other information INJURY FORCES MEDLEY DROP
He dropped the individual medley while preparing for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo due to a persistent shoulder injury that affected him In 2020 and 2021. Scans revealed that he had a "significant rift" in his subscapularis [shoulder muscle], due to years of wear and tear. He declined surgery due to its potential impact on his preparation for the Games. "If you try to swim like I was trying to do later last year [in 2020], you'll be in a worse position and won't go to [Olympic] trials. But if you follow the surgical route, you won't be in time for the competition, so this was my only option. It's a very important muscle for swimmers and it's like a hamstring for soccer players. I swim in the 200m freestyle and don't use medley with the other strokes for my shoulders. So we bit the bullet, even though I'm used to having multiple events." (sydneynewstoday.com, 13 Apr 2021)

CONSIDERING QUITTING
In December 2017 he began training alone during his 12-month suspension after missing three doping tests in a year. He considered quitting the sport, but began working with Griffith University coach Michael Bohl in 2018. "When it all happened in 2017, there was that feeling of what next? Do I retire, do I take some time off then come back? I knew fairly quickly I didn't want to retire on a negative note. And if I kept going, you can't do things half-hearted. I wanted to keep swimming for my reasons, to come back for a third Olympics [in 2020] and get something I don't have, which is an Olympic medal. Before I got back in the pool, I made sure I knew exactly what I could and couldn't do. I couldn't swim in a squad with an accredited coach, and I couldn't train at the same time as a squad. So I trained in the public lane. This will probably be my last Olympic campaign and I'm looking forward to see what I can do." (brisbanetimes.com.au, 12 Jul 2019; thewest.com.au, 08 Jun 2019; newcastleherald.com.au, 24 May 2019)

SANCTION
In June 2017 he received a 12-month suspension from the International Swimming Federation [FINA] after he missed three doping tests in a year. He was eligible to return to competition in June 2018. (theaustralian.com.au, 03 Jul 2018; swimswam.com, 07 Jun 2018; smh.com.au, 08 Jun 2017)

COACHING
He works as a swim coach for Why Not Me Swim Clinics, an initiative run by current and ex-Australian swimmers for beginners in the sport. His partner, Swedish swimmer Jessica Eriksson, has worked as a programme coordinator for the clinics since 2018. (Facebook profile, 12 Feb 2021; Jessica Eriksson LinkedIn profile, 01 Dec 2020)