Bradley Helt died Monday night. The Westport teenager attended Westport schools before enrolling at Fairfield Prep. Last month, the junior backstroker helped his Prep swim team win the state LL championship. Today, his many friends mourn his outgoing personality and wonderful spirit.
Longtime friend and former swim teammate Nathaniel Boley wrote this remembrance last night. This morning, Staples High School principal John Dodig read it to the student body.
Many of us have known Bradley since we were very young. Whether it be from Long Lots, Coleytown Middle, Little League baseball or the Westport YMCA Water Rats, Bradley developed friendships that have lasted through the years.
Whatever your connection to Bradley may be, I’m sure you remember him as the charismatic, outgoing, and always-joking young man who never failed to brighten spirits and bring out the best in all of us.
Whether you were close with Bradley or not, you were very familiar with his personality and incredible sense of humor. When he wasn’t making you laugh, he was busy being a great friend. Bradley was the type of person that I know I will never come across again. I can only hope that a part of him will live on in everyone who was fortunate enough to know him.
Those of us who swam with Bradley know best how truly amazing he was. Swimmers spend more time together than most other sports; countless hours training, competing and bonding lead to friendships that last lifetimes. Bradley’s friendships will last beyond his days, and he will be remembered as a teammate, a friend, and a brother.
Even though Bradley may no longer be with us, he lives on in our hearts, where he settled when we first met him. I was fortunate enough to have spent countless sleepovers, practices, and the occasional family vacation with Bradley, and have found that his time with us is best explained by a quote from one of his favorite movies:
“Remember kid, there’s heroes and there’s legends. Heroes get remembered, but legends never die.”
You are a legend Bradley, and you will be remembered forever. May you rest in peace.