2001-02-24 / Sports

Athlete of the Week: Rosemary Gurry

Athlete of the Week: Rosemary Gurry

By Emanuel Jalonschi

Two decades and a half. That’s a really long time. Who knows? Maybe it’s really just a long time to me. Hell, I’m only twenty-one so it’s really hard to picture someone jogging on the boardwalk longer than I’ve even been a thought.

You may recognize her but probably not as Rosemary Gurry, secretary at P.S. 98. You probably know her as the woman who jogs by you and smiles at 5:15 in the morning. Or maybe you know her as the faint figure you see from your balcony at 5:30 as you prepare for another day in the world of love, labor and fading lucidity.

Rosemary has been a member of our fair community since the co-ops went up, around 1967. She’s seen a lot of the changes that have gone on in the Rockaways over the last 35 years and through all that you can still count on her as a constant. She was here when it all "just came out of nowhere." She was here when there were practically no sports leagues or associations in all of Far Rockaway.

At 5:30 in the morning, come rain, sleet or snow, she’s out there jogging. She puts on her tapes and it’s her boardwalk. By 7 a.m. she’s at work.

She’s involved, at the age of 64, in more physical activities than certain sports editors I know. Besides jogging and swimming, she also roller-blades and ice-skates.

She’s also been a great member of our community and uses whatever spare time she has to improve the lives of others. She is very involved with our local Special Olympics Program.

Every year, a whole bunch of people decide to go for a nice brisk winter swim. Some go in groups (such as the infamous Polar Bears) some go independently. This past year, Rosemary, decided to take the plunge herself.

Early on New Year’s Day, while the rest of us were recovering from a variety of hangovers, she was in the Atlantic Ocean. You might remember that this past year we had a bit of a snowstorm just before the turn into the new year. The beach was covered in snow.

What possessed her to do such a thing? "I just wanted to be able to say I did it."

Although, the last two weeks featured outstanding student-athletes this may be a good time to reflect on what an athlete is. Most essentially, an athlete is a relentless competitor.

I think twenty-five years is pretty relentless, don’t you?


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