When Allan Nicolson watches his daughter compete in boxing he says it ‘sends a shiver down [his] spine’.
This week, 22-year-old Skye Nicolson will be doing just that, representing Australia at the Commonwealth Games in Queensland.
Her skill is undeniable. She is strong, fast, tricky and evasive. But every time her father watches her, he is struck by an eerie sense of dejavu.
Skye, he insists, boxes exactly like her brother.
Jamie Nicolson, who won a bronze medal in the Commonwealth Games and competed in the Barcelona Olympics, was Australia’s first boxer to ever win a world championship medal, and all before he turned 22; the same age Skye is now.
In 1994, at the height of his success, Jamie was driving down the Pacific Highway at Helensvale with his 10-year-old brother Gavin on their way to boxing training, when they were both killed in a car accident.
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A year later, overwhelmed by grief, Allan, who was 45, and their mother Pat, who was 42, had another child, Skye.
She was born, it would seem, with the same remarkable prowess as the older brother she never met, and at 12 she began training at the family gym.
People always told her how much she looked like Jamie, but their likeness extended far beyond their features.