PHOENIX (KPHO/Gray News) – A beloved CrossFit coach from Phoenix is now a hero in the hearts of many after he died saving his wife from drowning during a family trip.
Damian Walker, a 33-year-old CrossFit trainer, had a big personality you couldn’t miss, his bosses say.
“He was joking. He loved to laugh. He loved to dance. He loved superheroes, Marvel and anime,” said Tiffany Divelbis, co-owner of Wildfire CrossFit, where Walker worked.
Walker signed up as a member when the gym opened 10 years ago and quickly became a coach. Gym owners told KPHO He lived his whole life.
“He always wanted people to succeed and be able to be their best and have fun doing it, and that’s just the energy that he always brought,” gym co-owner Skip Divelbys said.
According to Tiffany Divelbis, Walker and her family scattered her grandfather’s ashes into the ocean in Puerto Rico on March 3. A sudden rip current swept away Walker’s wife and other family members.
“Damian stepped in because he 100% lived up to his hero mentality of, ‘I’m just going to go in and save them,'” said Tiffany Divelbis.
Although his wife pulled him from the water, Walker himself drowned. His father, who entered after him, also drowned. The father’s body has not been found yet.
“He [Walker] He will be proud of how things turned out. He always wanted to be a superhero and he ended up being one,” Skip Divelbys said.
In honor of Walker, Wildfire CrossFit Create a “hero workout” With all his favorite moves.
“Him and that person being ripped out, it was a huge hole in everybody’s heart,” Tiffany Divelbis said.
On April 2, which would have been Walker’s 34th birthday, the gym will host a celebration of life where every athlete will break their workout just like Walker.
“It’s a cool legacy, an inspiration that we all hold onto so we can heal this heartache,” Tiffany Divelbis said.
The owners of Wildfire CrossFit say former members have returned to the gym as a way to honor Walker. Other athletes across the country have completed the hero’s training.
Gym as well Set up a GoFundMe page To help Walker’s family with funeral expenses. He raised more than $25,000.
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