NYPD hero swings for national championship

April 15, 2011 05:45 PM
Gary Lefebvre in action at the 2010 USTA League 6.0 & 8.0 Super Senior Nationals in Surprise, Arz.
By Courtney Williams
Surprise, Ariz.--Whether it is a man in need of a rescue from ice cold water, a first place finish in a triathlon, or a tennis team looking for a national championship, Gary Lefebvre is a good man to call. 

Lefebvre, a former New Yorker, is at the 2010 USTA League Super Senior National Championships in Surprise, Ariz. with his 6.0 team from Naples, Fla.

After serving in the Marines for five years, Lefebvre started working for the New York Police Department. 

"I made at least 500 arrests during my career.  I’ve been stabbed, shot at two times, and that was all in a day’s work.  I loved it," Lefebvre remembers. 

During his time as a detective, he covered homicides, kidnappings, burglaries, robberies, child abuse and sex abuse, but he will always remember one call. 

"We got a call about a guy who looked like he was going to jump off the Brooklyn Bridge.  When I got there, I looked up, and he just jumped off the center of the bridge, which is the highest point. He went all the way down and splash," Lefebvre says.

He thought the man was dead because 95 percent of people who jump are killed on impact. 

"Then he bobbed to the top and yelled for help. I was in a business suit, so I took off my tie and shoes and got into the ice-cold water and swam out to him. I turned to him and asked why he jumped-he said he did it for love," he recalls.
The event landed him in the hospital for water congestion, but he was released shortly thereafter. 

When Lefebvre was not busy serving New York City, he trained for the prestigious Iron Man triathlons, which consist of a 2.5-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and 26-mile run.
"I’ve done three Iron Man’s," claims Lefebvre.  "After I won my division in the Iron Man, I went back to playing tennis."

Fellow former New Yorker David Saks says Lefebvre is a great teammate. 

"Gary is a lot of fun.  He has a great sense of humor, and he’s a good tennis player," Saks says. 

Saks, like Lefebvre, made his career in New York City.  Saks worked as a Wall Street Analyst for 47 years and was the top-ranked stock picking analyst in science and technology. 

Injured player Cookie Weinstein is here to support the team in their first appearance at nationals.
"We have a wonderful community full of good personalities that play well together," Weinstein boasts. 

Fortunately for Saks and the rest of the Florida team, if they need to call on a hero to rescue them at nationals this weekend, Lefebvre is their man.
Click here for more news & photos from the 2010 USTA League 6.0 & 8.0 Super Senior National Championship.