Steamboat brothers aim for London Olympics |

Steamboat brothers aim for London Olympics

Luke Graham

Cole Worsley, left, and his brother Blake, who grew up in Steamboat Springs, are both eyeing the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Blake should make the Canadian Olympic team in several events and Cole, a junior at the University of Denver, has an outside shot of qualifying in the 400-meter freestyle relay.

— The words Olympic year make any high level athlete's ears perk up.

But the words mean something different in the Worsley household.

It's not a common place for the two brothers to be anymore considering their schedules. But with a brief reprieve from the swim season, the two once again made it back to Steamboat Springs before arguably the biggest years of their lives just ahead of them.

Blake Worsley, fresh off swimming the 400- and 800-meter freestyle relays for Canada at the FINA World Championships in Shanghai, and Cole, who is prepping for his junior season at the University of Denver, both are looking toward April's Canadian Olympic Trials.

Blake should have a legitimate shot at making the 2012 Olympics in the relays as well as an individual in the 100- and 200-meter freestyle events.

Cole has an outside chance at making the 400-meter relay team.

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"He's got a chance if he has a really good year," Blake said about Cole's bid. "It would be a dream come true if we were both on that team."

Blake, a 2005 Steamboat Springs High School graduate, and Cole, a 2009 graduate, have dual citizenship in Canada after being born in Vancouver, British Columbia.

The two are strikingly similar in their swimming approaches.

Blake was an All-American at Denver, before heading to Canada to pursue his dream. Cole has followed in his footsteps and is primed for a big season with the Pioneers.

"My main goal is to make it to the (National Championships)," Cole said. "That's been my dream since I've been in college."

Of course, with swimming and being brothers, it's not hard to find motivation for each. They're highly competitive, but uncannily close.

Blake gives advice to Cole on swimming and Cole admits he eats it up.

But when the two compete, it's fierce.

"We've always had that competitive nature," Blake said. "One time when I was younger and he beat me in the 50 freestyle and it was the hardest thing I've ever had to take."

Now the two eye the April Olympic trials. Cole will start swimming and training Sept. 1 in preparation for his junior season.

He said his goal is to make it to the NCAA Championships and try to finish in the top eight, a spot that would make him an All-American. Depending on his season, Cole said he might follow his brother to Canada and try to make the team. He said he'll have a better judge of where he'll be after the trials in April.

"It really depends on how well I swim," Cole said. "If I'm going to the (National Championships) and placing in the top eight, I could definitely see myself doing that."

For Blake, training for the Olympics begins Monday. His workouts will consist of five days a week workouts. He'll swim twice, sometimes three times, and lift weights once.

It's a strong regimen that he hopes will lead to London. Should his brother be with him, it'll be all the better.

"It's a thought that's been in the back of my mind for years," Blake said. "It comes down to one moment. It's a scary thought because it comes down to one meet. But I think I'll be successful. I think we'll be successful."

To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email

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