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True Gent, Talented, Nicest Guy, Handsome, Kind, Inspiring, Friend, Humble and Legend are just some of the words that people have used to describe Nelson "Nelly" Pratt who unfortunately left the world of snowboarding in a state of shock following the news of his death on Thursday.
I've had the pleasure of Nelson's company on many occasions over the years and believe he was possibly the nicest man in the world who also had the fantastic ability to produce some amazing snowboarding that has inspired many riders. In recent years he's been doing a superb job coaching the Army and GB Team riders and even at the age of 32 in Laax this year he still managed to keep everyone on their toes by taking the silver in the slopestyle championships.
Ed Blomfield (Editor of Whitelines) who was a dear friend of Nelson's wrote this beautiful tribute that sums him up very well http://whitelines.mpora.com/news/rip-nelson-pratt.html as does Ben Kilners tribute and Jon Weaver's blog
Our thoughts go out to all his friends & family as they deal with this truly sad news and we raise a glass in your honour!
Now rest in peace Nelly
- Stuart Brass, SCUK & Soulsports
For those who aren't familiar with Nelson, here is an interview he did a few years ago for Whitelines: http://whitelines.mpora.com/features/interviews/mr-nice-the-nelson-pratt-interview.html
Here is a small selection of Facebook posts that we've been privy to, and thought by sharing them on here you'd hear direct from people who Nelson clearly left an impression on:
"Yesterday I found out the most upsetting news that you could have ever got. A man who was loved by everyone, was the nicest person you would ever meet. I have so many good memories and I'll never forget them on and off the hill! A great coach and was looking forward to spending all this season with him. Gutted! He was a true gent! Love you and RIP Nelson! Xxxxxxx"
"Words can't express my thoughts right now to this tragic news... A man I looked up to, aspired to be like, gentle, kind, and handsome. He taught me so much on and off the mountain and I am honoured to have been a friend, a team mate and then coached by you Nelson. The legacy of all things "executive" will live on. This morning my "rarge" was executive. We will all miss you so much and will strive to make you proud. RIP Nelson Pratt xxx"
"The nicest guy I ever had the pleasure to know. My thoughts are with his family and friends. RIP."
"Having spent time with Nelson Pratt recently I feel I need to share my thoughts. I will never forget the time I spent with him. He will be sadly missed but remembered as a inspirational human being."
"Once again the snowboard family is looking into that dark place and I'm sure that everyone will pull together to help each other through the dark days ahead but tonight I raised my glass to a legend, a gentleman but most importantly a friend, you will be missed and you won't be forgotten."
"RIP Nelson Pratt. An amazing talent and a true friend."
"Never once had a negative thing to say, the nicest person I've had the privilege to call my friend. A man of the earth. A life we would all be proud to have followed.
"I guess that a lot of you will have heard on the grapevine that British Snowboarding lost one of its most loved family members yesterday. A day later the whole sport is still reeling at the loss of probably the nicest guy to ever strap a snowboard to his feet, Mr Nelson Pratt. Over the years Nelson has worked closely with the TSA as one of our team riders, as well as helping out at shows and numerous events. Lately Nelson had been working with the British Freestyle team, helping to pass on some of his vast riding knowledge and hopefully some of his super smooth style. In everything that Nelson did, he did it with a level of humility that was sometimes at odds with his huge talent; but at all times he did it with such grace and dignity that it was impossible not to be in awe of this giant of a man. The loss of Nelson to the sport but most importantly to his family and his many, many friends cannot be measured, but at this sad time we can take a little consolation from the fact that we have been lucky enough to have shared our lives with someone whose light shone so brightly."
"There will only ever be one Nelly. A friend of true integrity. Nelson's kind spirit endeared him to everyone that came across him. You will always be remembered. Hope you are in a better place buddy XXX"
"A kind, wonderful, talented man who will be missed by all who knew him."
"He was always the gentleman and a scholar. RIP dude"
"Vaya con dios Nelson Pratt. What an inspiring individual. A tragic loss."
"Nelson Pratt....a man as real as they come!!! Rest in Peace mate!!! Yes we
love you bro!!!"
"Propper shocked. Gutted. The nicest bloke in snowboarding. Fact. RIP Nelly."
"Gutted, what an absolute legend, one of the UK's finest - both as a rider and a man. RIP Nelly."
"RIP Nelson Pratt...top bloke"
"A man with a smile and nice word to say to everyone all the time, this is such sad news."
"Devastatingly tragic news. He will be missed enormously by us all. Always charming and keen to please, and so modest given his legendary talent. He was one of life's true stars. Nelly we salute you."
"It is with great sadness that today we say goodbye to an amazingly talented snowboarder, top bloke and true gentleman. RIP Nelson Pratt. You will be missed by many, and our thoughts go out to his friends and family."
i always had the best times when riding with you. i will always remember your kind nature , and how you made snowboarding so fun, take care "
"Absolutely shocked to read this....Rest easy bro; Nelson is hands down one of the true gents I had the pleasure to shred with, the world is certainly lacking a good guy. I hope there's a good place for you where ever you are and the powder's steep, deep and worthy of your karma."
"Rip a nelson, a great guy, taught me so much, never let anyone thank him, he just loved teaching us, thanks nelson"
"RIP Nelson Pratt. You were a good man. One Love."
"I didn't know you aswell as some but i honestly thought you were one of the nicest guys i've ever met.
I still can't believe this has actually happened because you don't expect it to happen to a guy as nice as you.
i will miss your amazing smile that made everyone happy and cheerful.
i will remember you forever.
R.I.P Nelson Pratt"
"Managed to combine gentlemanly niceness with snowboarding radness effortlessly. We miss you friend.."
one of my biggest inspirations from the uk, riding with him in mayrhofen was insane! rip dude!
"Army snowboarders, we owe this fello athlete a mark of respect. A true friend and comrade in snowboarding arms. I will do what is required from us all. He is one of our own".
"I've just come online and seen the really sad news about Nelly. I'm absolutely gutted. I had the true honour of spending a lot of time with him in some very strange places from the frozen mountains of northern China to lap dance clubs in Vegas and insect restaurants in Thailand... He truly was a gentleman and without doubt one of the kindest and most humble people I've met. I don't think anyone ever had a bad word to say about him. Certainly these are things a lot of people say when someone passes away, but in his case it really is true.
Below are the two films we made together in case anyone fancies watching him at his best - loving being in the mountains, killing it on a snowboard and enjoying life with his trademark positive attitude. I will be toasting you tonight Nelly"