Jaymie Mart...rest in peace
We've just heard the tragic news that Jaymie Mart, ex-World Cup racer, Dirt contributor and all round awesome person, is no longer with us.
We are all shocked and saddened to hear the news and all our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends at this time.
Here are some touching tributes from some of Jaymie's close friends:
I was asked by Billy to write a tribute to Jaymie over the weekend. Two days later and I am typing this.... I thought it would be hard, emotional, and probably a few tears would be shed. Actually I am writing this with a huge smile, and a glow in my heart knowing Jaymie has brought so much fun, warmth and laughter to everyone she has ever known.
Races were a livelier place with her around, that wicked humour, raucous belly laugh and extrovert character made many wet cold days brighter. Her madcap adventures in foreign lands are the stuff of legend, Brazil and the cable car one I will never forget. Another is seeing the first MTB World Championship medal for Barbados being so proudly displayed by Jamie in Brazil.
She was a great, great friend and always there for everyone - a hug, a smile and a joke! The Barbados race jersey is yellow - This colour is how I want to remember Jaymie, she was like the sun, a bright light, a warm loving person who brought fun into all our lives.
To my dearest Jaymie, sorry it's taken a couple of days to write to you, the thing is I wasn't sure what to say really, it has just not sunk in. Why is asked a lot and tears are shed by the bucket.
I've read so many of the posts on Facebook and the only way to describe what i see is that you had a 'Jaymie Mart effect' on so many people whether you saw them for an hour or a lifetime, your personality was so infectious you left a trail of such happiness and made a positive impression on people from all around the world.
Such a true friend who had an amazing gift to make everything ok again, you had so much love to give and i will always be grateful for the friendship we had and will have forever.
Your top 5 dinner guests and your explanations at our wedding i think sums you up.....
1) Bob Marley (be good to have a sing ding dong)
2) Prince Harry (he'd be a riot and would totally spill the beans on the fam!)
3) Billy Connely (Obviously, he'd be hilarious)
4) Wayne from Waynes World (because he shaped my teens)
5) Pink (because she is a bad ass).
Those 5 with your good self would be a dinner party and a half, just don't forget the violin and guitar!
Kate and I will always be looking out for the green flash, you just need to make it happen now. Love you Ms Mart, forever in my heart and head xx
On Saturday the 15th September, as the 2012 World Cup came to an end, Will Longden took me aside to tell me the terrible news that our friend Jaymie Mart had died the previous day. It sounds like a cliche but everything seemed to go into slo-mo... it couldn't be true.
It still doesn't quite seem real. Jaymie was someone for whom the phrase 'live-wire' could have been invented.
Everyone who knew Jaymie will have many memories of her boundless energy and anarchic humour, from leading a bunch of us around Salzburg in a recreation of a scene from 'The Sound Of Music' to getting trapped overnight in a cable-car gondola in the rainforest.
Despite her legendary approach to partying, she was a committed athlete - winning Scottish National and Student titles and representing Barbados with pride at the World Championships. I remember her sunshine smile lighting up a grey evening in Fort William as she marched behind the Barbados banner at the opening ceremony for the 2007 World Championships, and how delighted she was to win a first ever UCI World Championships medal in mountain biking for her country at the Masters Worlds.
She loved the sport and was a fiercely loyal supporter of her fellow female downhillers, cheering them from the sidelines if she was not competing herself. Her generosity and love of her friends was exemplified by her determination to run the London Marathon to raise funds for her great friend Tara Llanes' medical treatment... she did it, of course.
Away from the tracks she was an accomplished scientist, specialising in sports nutrition, and was building on her reputation as a leader in her field with her company Athleat Nutrition.
She was funny, smart, beautiful and seemingly unstoppable, but behind the crazy bravado was a warm, thoughtful, sensitive and caring soul. Maybe sometimes I didn't always realise how sensitive she was because of her exuberance.
Jaymie rode for my team but more importantly she was my friend, we shared so many highs and lows over more than a decade.
There will be a little less sparkle to the world without Jaymie, but I can say that my life experience has been all the better for the moments that she added to it. Judging by the response on Facebook, Twitter and from the cycling community, I'm not alone.
Goodbye to the Barbadian Bullet. I'll miss you. X
PS - I'd like to suggest that everyone who knew and loved Jaymie who is coming to the Fort William World Cup in 2013 wear some combination of blue and yellow (the colours of Barbados) so we can all remember our friend at an event that she loved.
Jaymie Mart; I think it is impossible to remember such a vibrant woman without a huge smile. My greatest memories of Jaymie occurred on the way to races, when we were all crammed in race vehicles, driving all over Europe. Jaymie had a way of taking those long road trips and turning them into adventures. The ridiculous car songs, the amusing games, and all the fun we had at every stop made Jaymie the heart of every travelling experience. Her laugh was contagious; you could see that smile coming miles away, and with it came an energy that gave all those around her a new appreciation for life. She lived life to the fullest, and loved every minute of it, and she shared that passion indiscriminately with everyone she encountered. Jaymie raced bikes because she loved it, and when you rode with Jaymie, you could hear her giggle to herself all the way down the track.
Jaymie loved an adventure, but she was also a kind, caring friend, with a knack for knowing when to crack out the bottle of wine to just sit and talk. She really would drop everything for a friend, and I know that we all appreciated her motivating words and fiercely loyal friendship. I will miss our long talks, and the mischievous little smile that crossed her face when she came up with a new idea. The “Barbados Bullet" will be fondly remembered by all those who knew her, and deeply missed by all those who loved her.