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born2fly
July 11th, 2009, 10:38 AM
I write this with a heavy heart and think to myself life can be so cruel at times. Often we read of masters swimmers whom for most part have lived long lives and have passed on. A few nights ago, I lost my lanemate to car accident while he was headed home from a swim meet.

He was not in his adult life, but just 17 entering his senior year in high school. I was fortunate enough to train with him in our lane on the National team. His smile and laugh always lit up our lane even during the most intense sets.

This young man had natural swimming talent and I always enjoyed watching him swim freestyle so effortlessly. His Junior year he had posted times of 21.x, 46.x and 141.x in the freestyles. He was an excellent student and was extremely active in the community giving his time and volunterring.

He would call me the ole man and always harass me when I would have to leave practice early. There were many times he would call me ole man and I would challenge him to 100 fly. He always took me up on the offer and everytime I would just out touch him. I think he would call me old just so I would challenge him to another race. He was not one to give up at trying and did not like to loose a race.

He and I had things in common, notely both being adopted. We would talk about that and I had offered to help find bio parents if he ever had the desire. What impressed me most was, his family worked to make ends meet but could not do any friviolous spending. He swam those times above the old fashion way, in just a speedo. I had asked him once before why he did not wear a techincal suit, and he said my family just can not afford to get me one of those suits. He never complained about it and just accepted it. I admired him in the pool but most certainly more what he stood for outside of the pool.

Well Andrew, you won the race to the heavens and I am sure God has a special tech suit waiting just for you.

Rest in peace my friend, you will be truely missed.

Your lanemate and friend,
Ole guy

gobears
July 11th, 2009, 11:38 AM
I'm so sorry. What a tragic loss. I'm glad you got to know Andrew and that you made a difference in one another's lives. RIP.

Bobinator
July 11th, 2009, 11:53 AM
I am so sorry about your friend. What a tragic loss!
I'm thinking your "Andrew stories" will be helpful to his parents in a couple weeks. Memories help ones spirit become immortal.
Take care.

born2fly
July 11th, 2009, 12:06 PM
I forgot to post the article. Im sure my words did not do near enough justice as to what a great young man Andrew was. Keep Andrew and his family in your prayers. Tomorrow will be difficult at the viewing and Im sure enough tears will be shed to fill a pool.

http://www.daytondailynews.com/news/dayton-news/franklin-swimmer-remembered-after-death-in-crash-199590.html?cxtype=rss_local-news

ViveBene
July 11th, 2009, 12:07 PM
I am so sorry about your friend. What a tragic loss!
I'm thinking your "Andrew stories" will be helpful to his parents in a couple weeks. Memories help ones spirit become immortal.
Take care.

Absolutely. The parents will want to talk about their son with someone who knew him in different contexts. Even if they don't know you, do call and introduce yourself.

Thanks for coming with this sad news, Greg.

Marjorie

gull
July 11th, 2009, 12:19 PM
Sorry to hear about your (our) loss. His death brings to mind one of Ande's Swimming Faster Faster tips: approaching each race as if it were our "last battle on earth." It reminds us to live in the moment.

ddl
July 11th, 2009, 02:19 PM
That is so sad. He's only 17. Seems you are very good buddies to each other. Would be nice if there are videos of his swimming.

Makes me value my lanemates more...

mctrusty
July 11th, 2009, 03:04 PM
Sorry to hear. I know where you are at. One of my HS swim friends has recently been taken off chemo because cancer has taken over his body. They are now just trying to keep him comfortable until he dies.

bamueller
July 11th, 2009, 03:40 PM
The world is a better place for him having been here I am certain. I am sorry for your loss. It makes me sad.

swimshark
July 11th, 2009, 03:43 PM
I'm so sorry to hear about Andrew. Taken too soon.