The late Ravel La Rose was an outstanding swimmer who had the distinction of winning the first gold medal at a Goodwill Swim meet among Guyana, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago in 1997.
La Rose, 31, a former national swimmer died in an accident after a tree fell on him on Thursday.
According to Stephanie Fraser, head coach of Dorado Speed Swim Club, La Rose won gold in Suriname in 1997 swimming the 100-metre free style in the 15 to 17 age group.
He shared the honour of winning gold with Nadia Bhola, who was the first Guyanese female to do likewise.
La Rose served as a lifeguard for the Hotel Tower until three years ago when he returned to Santa Rosa, Moruca, where he was the coach for the Silver Gliders Swim Club.
Fraser said that he had taken part in a number of coaching courses in swimming sponsored by the Guyana Amateur Swimming Association (GASA) in collaboration with the FINA (International Swimming Federation.)
Nicholas Fraser, a former national swimmer and coach of Dorado recalls that La Rose was the fastest swimmer in his time.
Even though records were not kept at the time, he recalled that La Rose was the first swimmer known to make under a minute in the 100-metre free style.
“Though he had an unorthodox style of swimming, he was an excellent swimmer… He was very fast and very strong,” Fraser said.
A friend and colleague of Fraser, La Rose visited the Castellani Pool with him during one of Fraser’s training session with the national swimmers under his tutelage early one morning two weeks ago.
That was also the day before he left for the Upper Berbice where he met his demise.
La Rose, who leaves to mourn his wife and three young children, died on Thursday after a tree fell on the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission camp where he was working. He was trapped under the tree. (MLR)