In Memoriam, Wouter Weylandt

After watching the final kilometers of today’s emotional Giro stage, I wanted to share the words of poet Willie Verhegghe, as cited by Sporza tv commentator Karl Vannieuwkerke.

Renners Sterven Niet

Renners sterven niet,
ze verdwijnen alleen maar uit het zicht
eens zij de laatste finish hebben overschreden
en de snelheid van het leven
hen met stijve spieren achterlaat.
 
Want koersen blijven ze,
ook al vallen hart en wielen stil,
zij gaan in duizend hoofden door
met duwen en nooit doodgaan,
hun zweet geeft blijvend glans
aan het asfalt.
 
Weet dat
wanneer de aarde hen dan toch
met tegenzin bedekt,
hun naam voor altijd
als een echo tussen bergen
zal weerklinken.

(Willie Verhegghe)

Wouter Weylandt RIP

I choked back tears today because I can’t begin to say how much you’ve shaped this boy,
these last ten years or more.

My friends we’ve seen it all, triumphs to drunken falls and our bones are broken still,
but our hearts are joined until,
time slips its tired hand into our tired hands we’ve years ‘til that day
and so much more to say.

You give the strength to me, a strength I never had, I was a mess you see,
I’d lost the plot so bad, you dragged me up and out,
out of the darkest place, there’s not a single doubt when I can see your faces.

My friends we’ve seen it all, when it made no sense at all,
you dare to light my path and found the beauty in the aftermath.

Let me hold you up like you held me up, it’s too long to never say this,
you must know I’ve always thought,

You give the strength to me, a strength I never had,
I was a mess you see, I’d lost the plot so bad,
you dragged me up and out, out of the darkest place,
there’s not a single doubt when I can see your faces.

You give the strength to me, a strength I never had,
I was a mess you see, I’d lost the plot so bad,
you dragged me up and out, out of the darkest place,
there’s not a single doubt when I can see your faces.

Give Me Strength by Snow Patrol