Posted at: 07/27/2012 10:12 PM
| Updated at: 07/27/2012 11:23 PM
By: Danielle Espinosa, KOB Eyewitness News 4
On the opening night of the Olympics, that community, and the Albuquerque community have lost an Olympian.
Trish Porter confirmed Friday that her Olympian husband Pat, their son, and his best friend were all killed in a plane crash in Sedona, Arizona Thursday.
Friday afternoon, Trish, an Olympian herself, and their 11-year-old daughter Shannon did something a lot of us couldn’t do.
They stood before reporters and talked about their devastating loss.
First and foremost, Trish made it very clear that Pat will always be an Olympian. But he was also much more than that. She says he was a great father and husband.
Also killed in the crash were two teens with great potential.
“My daughter Shannon, who is 11, and I will miss dearly this other half of our family,” Trish said.
It was an emotional start for Trish’s speech to the media Friday. Only when she talked about her husband Pat’s tremendous athletic career did she perk up.
“He was top in the world for over 15 years,” she said.
And Trish says Pat was an animal when it came to competing.
In fact, KOB Eyewitness News 4 is hearing that from everyone who knew him.
Family friend, and fellow runner, Chip Smith showed KOB Eyewitness News 4 clippings he has saved from before he even knew Pat. So meeting and training with him was something he will never forget.
“He wasn’t just pomp and circumstance,” Smith said. “He would go out there and take on everybody in the world.”
It seems he was passing that on to his son, Connor. At 15-years-old, he was already gaining recognition for his fencing.
His little sister Shannon says he wasn’t your ordinary teenager. “He was my best friend. He was definitely not like every other 15 year old,” Shannon said.
And Trish says Connor’s friend, Connor Mantsch was a blessing to their family. He was also an athlete and musician.
Thursday they were headed back home, but witnesses in Arizona say that twin engine plane crashed at the end of the runway.
Friday, Trish said she will always remember Pat’s humor.
“For as long as I’ve known him, he has always been able to make me laugh,” Trish said. “Our last text messages that morning were full of humor.”
Trish also mentioned that her son Connor would have wanted everyone to support the Olympic fencers for the next few weeks.
She said Connor was already talking about fencing at Stanford University.
Article source: http://www.kob.com/article/stories/S2707318.shtml?cat=504