PHOENIX, Arizona, November 16. THE Canadian swimming community lost one of its popular members on Wednesday with the passing of 51-year-old Guy Gibbons. Gibbons worked for OMEGA and regularly worked at meets across Canada.
"Whenever a problem occurred at a swim meet that something wasn't working right, Guy either knew the answer, or knew how to get the answer, so that the issue would be resolved as quickly as possible and the meet could continue running smoothly," said Bob Matlack. "He was always passionate about swim meets - and about his team running them professionally - and he did that extremely well. I will miss him, and the zest that he brought to life and to swimming."
"He was a great leader and a teacher," said Michael Morris, who worked with Guy for 30 years. "With Guy, it wasn't about getting the job done, it was about getting the job done right. A true Swiss at heart with all the characteristics of a Gibbons. His father Mike showed him the way and he in turn showed us."
"Guy always had a calm and forthright manner with his crews and with the officials," said former USA Swimming President Ron Van Pool. "We'll miss him terribly."
Below is Swimming Canada's press release on Gibbons' passing:
The Canadian swimming family is mourning the passing of Guy Gibbons, a well-known fixture at major meets from coast to coast.
Gibbons, who died Wednesday at age 51, was commonly known as the "OMEGA rep" on the pool deck as a representative of Swiss Timing.
"Our thoughts are with his family and friends. We are shocked and saddened by the news and we're thinking about them," said Swimming Canada CEO Ahmed El-Awadi. "He's been a great member of the community, a great contributor and he's going to be sorely missed."
Originally from Montreal, Gibbons swam for Pointe-Claire Swim Club in his younger days. He became involved in swimming timing through his father Mike, who oversaw timing at several Olympic Games.
"After the Olympics in 1976, Mike basically became the guru of OMEGA in the 80s in Canada up to the point by 1996 he was running OMEGA at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996. He hired Guy to help him in Canada," recalls former Swimming Canada CEO Pierre Lafontaine, now CEO of Canadian Interuniversity Sport.
Guy Gibbons had been living in Florida in recent years.
"Guy was one of the great passionate people about swimming, about making it right, about sport, and he loved his home base in Pointe-Claire," Lafontaine says. "He was always there for Canada whenever we needed him, even when he left to go to the U.S. He was a great Canadian and we're going to miss him terribly in Canada."