NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Sunday, November 29, 2015, 5:50 PM
To the Colorado community, he was an authority figure, but to Nancy Kerrigan, he was a friend.
Former Olympic figure skater Kerrigan said she is “devastated” by the death of Colorado police officer Garrett Swasey, who was gunned down in Friday’s shootout at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs.
Swasey was a distinguished figure skater before becoming a police officer — forming a sibling-esque playful bond with the eventual Olympian during their younger years.
“I called him ‘Ugh,’ he called me ‘Yuck,’” Kerrigan told the Boston Herald.
Former Olympic figure skater Nancy Kerrigan said she and Garrett Swasey were like brothers and sisters during their younger years, often going to the ice rink for figure skating.
“We were always teasing each other like a brother and sister,” she said.
The Olympian told the news outlet that Swasey’s father used to pick her up at school daily to take her to the skate rink and that she and Swasey were friends on and off the ice.
“We were together an awful lot as children. I would ride my bike to his house and we’d hang out at the pool. We were together all the time, whether skating or not,” she told the Herald.
Swasey, 44, and two others were killed during Friday’s five-hour standoff between police and alleged gunman Robert Lewis Dear at the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood.
Kerrigan said Swasey was a “determined but passionate” skater.
Swasey, a Melrose native, excelled in ice dancing and appeared three times at the U.S. championships.
Kerrigan recalled the slain officer’s bright and encouraging personality.
“I don’t remember him ever being in a bad mood,” she told the Herald.
“He was always ready to listen, to be there, to help, to encourage somebody else. He had a big, giant smile all the time.”
Swasey was a six-year veteran with University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, married for 17 years and a father of two young children.
Kerrigan said she learned of the officer’s death from Swasey’s parents, who notified her of the news.