By Matt Rothman
Bruno Fratus, who trains at the Coral Springs Aquatic Complex, made history at the Toyko Olympics. The 32-year old Brazilian swimmer became the oldest competitor ever to receive his first medal after winning bronze in the 50 freestyle.
“It represents hard work, resilience, and perseverance, and that throughout these values you can achieve anything in life,” Fratus said.
Upon receiving his medal, Fratus brought back the iconic meme “third place,” which features a man biting a medal, flipping off spectators, kissing the woman who presented the award, and spraying champagne around furiously before revealing that he came in third place.
— my uncle’s meme stash (@myunclesmemes) August 1, 2021
Originally coming in first place in the preliminaries, then second after qualifying for the final, Fratus mproved his time in each of his three races. He was only .50 behind American Caleb Dressel, who set an Olympic record with a time of 21.07.
Earlier in his Olympic career, Fratus finished fourth in 2012 and sixth in 2016. He also competed in the Pan American Games and came in first place five times.
He credits his parents for getting him into swimming. They told him to have a healthy life, he should play sports, and swimming was one that he just excelled at while doing most of his training in Coral Springs with coaches Michael Lohberg and Bruno Darzi.
He is also married to former Olympian swimmer Michelle Lenhardt. The two were teammates on the Brazilian swim team and got married in 2014.
“Many Olympians from all parts of the globe have gone through the Olympic pool at Coral Springs Sportsplex, and I’m just humbled to be part of such a selected group,” Fratus added.
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- Matt Rothman is a 2018 graduate from Florida Gulf Coast University receiving his bachelor’s degree in journalism. He is now attending the University of Florida as a graduate student.
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