Thank You Robert Gary

from Stephanie Garcia on Instagram

I sent Robert Gary an email in August 2013, begging to join Furman Elite

I was in my second year as a pro and struggling, unsure if I was good enough for professional running. After two weeks of silence, Robert finally emailed me back, inviting me to visit Greenville. I sat in his office and listened as he said “I don’t know anything about you, I don’t have any support for you, it’s okay if you say no.” “I’ll be here for practice Monday,” I said ?

After five years, amazing highs, and heartbreaking lows, Robert and I made the hard decision: it is time for a new challenge

There aren’t words to express the gratitude and love I have for Robert, his family, Furman University, FU Athletics and Furman Track/XC (Chris Neal!), the Greenville community, my fellow furmalicious teammates, and our stalwart supporter Chris Borch and his amazing family ? Robert TRANSFORMED me as an athlete and I would never have achieved my accomplishments without his guidance, his impeccable hurdle form, his patience, his quotes, and his refusal to ever give me a hug or high five ????

I will never forget exiting the mixed zone at the Olympic Trials in the misty rain (heart broken, body bruised) and looking up to see Robert striding across the field towards me. “That was an Olympic effort,” he said and while we were both devastated, we were determined to make the most of the summer… where I would end up being the fourth American to break the 9:20 barrier. To Robert— thank you. thank you. thank you. I will forever strive to make you proud.

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