As reported by Daily Mail, Kerrigan and slain officer Garrett Swasey were "inseparable" as kids. Kerrigan describes Swasey as "another brother," saying the cop — a former competitive skater — had been a major part of her support system in her youth. She remembered his encouragement from when she was competing:
"It was him yelling... and I could feel the energy and excitement of him rooting for me. It made me laugh. Instead of listening to music, I found that humor helped; it was good for me and it helped push me to do better."
Swasey with former skating partner Christine Fowler-Binder [Credit: Facebook @ChristineFowlerBinder]
Swasey was a hit on the ice, winning awards with partner Christine Fowler-Binder. Fowler-Binder remembered Swasey as "the most selfless person I knew." The pair moved to Colorado to continue competitive ice dancing, winning big in 1992. Swasey eventually left the sport, married a nurse, and fathered two children. He became a pastor at an Evangelical Christian church as well as a police officer.
Fowler-Binder and the late Officer Swasey at the height of their success as ice-skating partners [Credit: Facebook @ Christine Fowler-Binder]
President Obama said of Officer Swasey, "May God bless Officer Garrett Swasey and the Americans he tried to save — and may He grant the rest of us the courage to do the same thing."