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NY International Football Club honors late teammate in 5K with Fit Club NY

NY International Football Club honors Davide Giri
Photo by Ethan Marshall

The NY International Football Club (NYIFC), with the assistance of Fit Club New York, held a charity 5K Saturday to honor their former teammate Davide Giri, who was tragically killed last December while walking home from the team’s practice.

More than 170 people signed up to take part in the charity 5K to honor Giri. The event raised more than $5,000 for the Davide Giri Prize Memorial Fund, at the Computer Science Department of Columbia University.

NY International Football Club honors Davide Giri
Davide Giri (Photo courtesy of New York International Football Club and FitClub New York).

A native of the Piedmont town of Alba, Italy, Giri had been a grad student at Columbia University, working to get a Ph.D. in computer science at the time he was killed. Many of the participants who took part in the 5K included friends, teammates, classmates and professors of Giri.

Established earlier this year, the Davide Giri Prize Memorial Fund will be made annually to a graduate student in computer science who has combined excellence in research results with continued outstanding efforts to promote research collaboration.

According to NYIFC member Gary Philpott, the turnout for the event was significantly more than what he had even hoped for. Right before the start of the 5K, Philpott had all the participants come together for a moment of celebration in honor of Giri.

“I’m blown away by the amount of people who showed up,” Philpott said. “We would’ve been happy with 50 signups for the 5K, but we’ve received over 170. A lot of people here know how special he was.”

After the 5K, the 31st Avenue Open Street held free yoga, dance and personal training classes. Additionally, local vendors, raffles and giveaways were present at the event.

Manus McGuire, another teammate of Giri’s for NYIFC, said he felt so many people turned up to honor him because he left such a positive impression on those who knew him. He said that while Giri was a great athlete, he was an even better person.

“He was everything you could ask for as a teammate and friend,” McGuire said. “He was very humble, encouraging, polite and enthusiastic about helping others. So many people had a lot of respect for him. He became the embodiment of what our team stands for.”

Giri joined NYIFC’s previous incarnation in 2017 before joining its current namesake in 2019. He was killed on Dec. 2, 2021, while walking home from a mid-week training session with the team at Central Park. According to his teammates, the fatal confrontation was an unprovoked attack a just few blocks away from his apartment. The assailant would end up attacking two more people that night before police tracked him down and arrested him shortly after the third attack.

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