Georgia Tech Crew was officially founded in 1986, and has since grown from a team of four to a team of 90+ athletes, making it the largest club sport at Georgia Tech. The team is also one of the most successful organizations at Georgia Tech, consistently earning medals at the Dad Vail and ACRA national championship regatta for more than 12 years in a row.

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April 9, 2015

Tribute for Brian

This coming weekend marks the year observance of a tragic loss that our team and Georgia Tech community experienced. In the past year, we have battled with overwhelming grief and the spectrum of emotions that losing Brian has forced us all to confront.

Brian had an incredible capacity to treat everyone he knew with kindness that was so genuine and wholesome you simply had to love him. In the July issue of our team newsletter, The Regulator, we shared some of our best memories of Brian. Below are a few of those lasting tributes to a man that surely changed all of our lives.

“Brian was just everything good. There’s no other way to put it. He was the most amazing man, the most caring and genuine and loving guy; the kind of person you don’t encounter twice in this life. Words could never capture him or the way he laughed or how he hiked up his spandex (for speed) or his casual way of making everyone feel included and liked. When Brian laughed you couldn’t help but join in, especially if he high-fived himself for one of his awful puns. His overwhelming happiness and contentment with every little thing in his life was incredible. Whether it was thrifting for new apartment ‘art’, watching a good (or awful) movie, or just having a really big cup of milk, he could always find something to be excited about. He was a guy who would fearlessly belt out ‘A Thousand Miles’ on regatta road trips and talk for hours about the immensity of the cosmos. You just couldn’t help but love him. It’s impossible to pick one picture that truly does him justice. But that smile- that’s Brian. He was the most amazing, thoughtful, selfless guy I could have imagined or deserved. I miss my best friend. To say it’s a loss is a gross understatement, because he was more loved than he’ll ever know, a better man than he ever gave himself credit for, and he is so, so missed.”

-Sofia Tuttle

“The picture of Brian Edmonds, Carlos, and myself really means a lot to me because it was the first time I really bonded with Brian. We all went to Salvation Army to pick out ridiculous clothes for a monster truck event that night. We bought UGA shirts and jean shorts that were just way too small for us. I still remember Brian telling me that his shirt was a child’s medium, hence the absurdly tight fit. Later that night, we cut the jean shorts even shorter, because they simply ‘weren’t short enough for our massive quads’ and ‘didn’t give us enough range of motion.’ Brian was the rare type of person who brought out the best in everyone just by being himself. He pushed your boundaries and enriched your life by living his completely unfiltered. Brian was a brother to me, and I will never forget him or the memories.”

-Brian Lee

“Brian and I had wanted to race a pair for months but had not had the chance. We spent a lot of time in the pair over the course of the season, and we were looking forward to this race because it would be the last one of the season and it would be some tough competition. During the race, Brian stroked perfectly for the full 5000 meters and held a tight inside course down the river to post the best time by over 10 seconds. It was the last race of Brian’s career, and one that I will never forget.”

-Adam Mckenzie

“The night before his accident he was at the apartment and I was having a particularly rough day. It was about midnight and he and Sofia were trying to get me to stop moping and come to McDonalds with him because ‘Abby’, he said ‘McFlurries make you feel better. They just do. It’s magic’. Those muffled sounds coming through the wall were the last words from him that I heard. Just about all my memories of Brian include in some shape or form Sofia. I can’t emphasize enough how much he meant to her. I didn’t know everything and I don’t know the details of their romance. What I do know to be true is that Brian was undoubtedly the most genuine human being I have encountered in my life. He acted with purpose, gentility, and warmth. There will always be a spot in my heart for him-for what he taught me about the kind of man I want to love me, for loving my best friend, and for making me want to be a better human being.”

-Abby Ross

On Friday April 10, 2015 at 7pm, there will be a remembrance ceremony held at our boathouse in Roswell (675 Riverside Rd, Roswell, GA 30075). The goal of this event is to celebrate Brian’s contribution in all of our lives and it will be a chance to preserve and share his lasting impacts on our team.

I am offering this invitation to anyone that wants to participate no matter their relationship with Brian, whether you knew exactly how his laugh permeated through walls or whether you only know him by the stories told. We will have candles to light and send off into the sunset on the Chattahoochee in addition to time for sharing any thoughts, memories, or stories of Brian.

In the coming weeks, we will also be erecting a memorial tribute at our boathouse in addition to naming our next purchased hull after Brian.

The best part about being on a team is having a support network to lean on when life becomes undoubtedly difficult.

Abby Ross

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Georgia Tech Crew strives to compete successfully at the highest level while providing the opportunity for all students to grow through dedication, competition, and teamwork.

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