Tributes flow for ‘exceptional, special’ man

Tributes flow for ‘exceptional, special’ man

Peter Michaelson passed away following a freak accident at North Bondi's Flat Rock.

Accomplished swimmer Peter Michaelson passed away following a freak accident at Bondi Beach. Photo: Warringah Masters Swimming Club.

Peter Michaelson has been remembered as “the most exceptional, special person” following his tragic death at Bondi Beach last week.

Michaelson, 57, was a highly accomplished swimmer who regularly swam in the Bondi bay, but he sadly passed away at St Vincent’s Hospital last Thursday following a freak accident at North Bondi’s Flat Rock the day before.

His devastated friend and swimming partner Roy Cohen said Michaelson was “always an absolute pleasure to be around”.

“He was huge in stature and just the most powerful guy and brilliant swimmer,” Cohen told The AJN.

“Just a super athlete, but he never wanted to take the limelight. He always lifted other people up – always talking to you about your accomplishments, always advising on how to improve my stroke. Just the most unbelievable guy with a sense of humour, always happy, and never sweated the small stuff.”

His friend Jorian Catzel echoed Cohen’s sentiments with an emotional post on social media.

“After each training session, there was a sms from him encouraging me and motivating me in the pursuit of excellence,” Catzel wrote.

“He was loved by all and it is this love, warmth and caring aspect that will forever leave a hole in my heart.”

The Warringah Masters Swimming Club also paid tribute to Michaelson.

“While Peter was a superb swimmer he was unassuming about it, with kind words for everyone, no matter their swimming ability. He will be missed.

“His wife, daughter and his many friends were all there at the hospital. We wish his wife and daughter a long life.”

Maccabi Swimming Club described Michaelson as “master sprinter” in its tribute to him.

“His love for the water and passion for the sport inspired so many swimmers in our community, both young and not-so-young.

“Our thoughts are with his family.”

Michaelson is survived by his wife Leeanne and daughter Siena, who is in year 12 at Emanuel School.

“Our school community is deeply saddened by the tragic passing of a man who impacted so many,” said Emanuel School principal Andrew Watt.

“We extend our deep condolences to Leeanne, Siena and the whole Michaelson family. May Peter’s memory be a blessing, now and forever.”

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