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Honouring The Life & Work Of Nick Thierry

Oct 11, 2012

A week has passed since family and friends of Nick Thierry gathered in Toronto to say farewell to the founder, editor and publisher of SwimNews and bastion of swimming statistics for the past 40 years. 

His and our colleague, Marco Chiesa, organised a fitting farewell for the man we worked for and loved. The day after a visitation, we all gathered at St Paul's Church not far from Nick's home. The setting, the mass, the priest's sermon, all was as Nick would have wished: simple and dignified. 

Marco and Karin Helmstaedt delivered very moving and eloquent speeches that spoke of the man we knew and loved, the man who kept the swimming score and gave his writers opportunity, freedom of thought and a forum through which to write of and opine on the subject of competitive swimming and much that circles around that world.

Alongside close family and friends, some bringing with them memories of childhood spent in Cuba, were colleagues from the swimming world. Our heartfelt thanks to those who managed to make it to Toronto to say farewell and to those who sent flowers, citations and messages of condolence to the church, to Nick's home and through the SwimNews website. Nick would have been very moved by so many fine words that expressed the affection and esteem that he was held in.

At the reception after mass, photos of Nick, from the 15-year-old youth swimmer smiling proudly at the camera deckside at a meet to the head coach he was in the 60s and 70s to the master statistician in our midst, brought a smile to our faces and tears to our eyes once more. Those gathered were able to reminisce and chat about their memories of Nick. A heartfelt thank you goes to Marco for helping Nick's family make all those kinds of arrangements that none of us ever wish we will ever have to make but know that such days will surely dawn.

Nick will live on in our hearts, our minds, in his work - and our work. 

In keeping with Nick's wishes, SwimNews will live on. We will honour Nick's work and the legacy he left to us, starting today with new posts from Craig Lord, editor of the site. The Olympic edition of the magazine, the last one that Nick worked on, is now out. There will be a period of adjustment as we put in place the plans we had been working on with the man who made it all possible. We will bring you more news about SwimNews' plans over the coming weeks.

Nick's passing not only left us deeply saddened but for a moment rudderless too. The captain is gone. He will never be forgotten. We will honour his wishes and his work in all that we do from this time on.

The SwimNews Team