Saturday, August 08, 2009

so difficult

Unanswered questions surround sportsman’s last moments
Tuesday, August 4th, 2009 06:49:00

THE mysterious death of a young sports enthusiast has shocked family and friends.

Electronics engineering student, Gary Leon Robert, 22 (pic), was found dead near Shah Alam stadium a day after completing the King of the Road Run, organised by Adidas last Sunday.

He was reported missing after collapsing at the finish line. A video recording of him fainting has been circulating on the Internet.

“It’s shocking and bizarre at the same time because he was a fit person,” said housemate and best friend, Ramesh Manimaran, 22.

“He participated in the run with two friends and they made plans to meet back at the parking lot after the run. They waited for one-and-a- half hours but there was no sign of him,” added Ramesh.

Upon learning the news that he was missing, family members and friends started a search. Many online
threads were started by friends immediately after but the search ended when a body was found at the construction waste dump site at the stadium’s basement the next day.

“It doesn’t make sense! Knowing him personally, he wouldn’t have gone there alone, especially after collapsing earlier. And the place where his body was found was just opposite the medic camp and it isn’t near at all,” said Ramesh.

Facebook’s statuses were also flooded with the search and news of finding him.

Another friend Hafisz Faiesall, 22, described Gary as a very promising guy and an all-rounder. “It just saddens me because he was a really good friend. I’ve known him for more than five years and I certainly did not see any of this coming,” he said.

“When I arrived at the office and got myself online on Facebook, I was really horrified with my friends’ status updates. I kept on praying that it wasn’t true,” he added.

Ramesh told Malay Mail that Gary was a kind-hearted, happy and great person to be around citing that: “He was a very gentle person and extremely close to his family. In short, any parents would want him as their son.”

An unidentified person, who participated in the run also lent a helping hand by alerting the public. He posted
a blog and uploaded a video of Gary passing out at the finish line.

He also provided his readers with details of Gary’s features, identification number, shirt number and what he was last seen wearing before he disappeared.

Second of three siblings, Gary was the only boy in the family and loved sports.

He was associated with the Selangor Football Club and attended University of Tenaga Nasional (UNITEN). The marathon marked his first time running a 22km race.

According to another unidentified witness: “Gary was last seen on a stretcher due to over exhaustion in the stadium being carried to the medic camp.”

I sorry but I will stop updating for a while now. This week has been an extremely difficult week for me with the passing of my friend, Gary. Every day, my mind is flooded with memories of him. I have been having sleepless nights as well because I am still not over the shock that Gary is no longer here.

Every day I am filled with regrets for not keeping in touch with him. You just think there will always be tomorrow and there will be other functions where you will meet up with your childhood friends. I still cannot bring myself to delete his handphone number. Maybe I will leave it inside to remember him. Gary, if you are still alive and you don't remember me, I don't blame you. All those times I could have kept in touch with you but I never did. And now, all I have are regrets that I did not treasured you when you were still alive.

I am still really angry over the organisers. If anyone who knew Gary, they would have known that he was an all-round athlete. He played in every type of sports there is. So how can he die from extreme dehydration? It is just so unfair that he is gone due to some stupid organiser's negligence.

I have tried to move on since attending his funeral service on Tuesday night. I have tried to keep myself busy by concentrating on my mid-sem exam preparations but every now and then, little things I see remind me of Gary. The worst was when I went to Petaling St yesterday. The whole lrt is plastered with posters of UNITEN. It is just so difficult. I do not want my UKM friends to also be affected by my emotions so I never said anything. In fact, if I can, I don't really want to talk about it. Those faces at the funeral, the open casket and his family...they still remain fresh in my mind.

We really miss you a lot, Gary. He was the one who would smile a lot and make jokes all the time. The last time I saw him was last October, where I sat next to him at Desiree's 21st. There was the time back in primary school when we represented our school for Mathematics Quiz in Std 6 , when we won first place for peringkat zon. And then, in Form 2, when we got 2nd place for Choral Speaking and he sat next to me in the bus. We were all shouting and being euphoric because it was the first time Perimbun actually got any placing in a choral speaking competition. Then I saw him again in Form 5, when we went to the same tuition together. Since we both live on the same road, we would go to Mr. Jasbir's house together.

I always told him if I ever have an elder brother, I would want it to be him. And he still remembers that because every year, on my birthday, he would msg me "happy birthday sis." And I have been such a lousy friend because sometimes I even forgot to message and wish him happy birthday. Now I will never be able to. So many things I could have done, now I just wished I can turned back time and do them all before he passed away.

I miss you, bro.

I am sorry this post is so messy and has many language mistakes. My mind is in mess-up shit mode now.

For more about Gary,
Here are some tributes I found online *here*, *here*, *here*
Here is a facebook group dedicated to him *here*. He already has over 1,000 fans, that shows what a great guy he is and how many people he has affected.

My deepest condolences to his family, whom Gary loved so much when he was still alive...

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