Just a quick note to say how much I’m looking forward to being in the park on Sun. for Amir’s Ultimate tourney 🙂
Amir was a source of strength, inspiration and unwavering friendship for me. I have always looked up to Amir. When I first met him, in college, I admired Amir’s brilliant mind. Amir effortlessly absorbed culture, science, philosophy, and assimilated them into his own compassionate, and quirky life-perspective.
Amir was cerebral, but I always felt he was happiest when he was able to translate his ideas into positive action. To me, the best example of this was Amir’s love for bicycling.
– On a philosophical level, Amir believed that bicycles were a much cleaner form of transportation than cars. Amir felt that more people should bike rather than drive, in order to preserve the environment.
– Amir also loved the visceral experience of biking down the Hudson river bikeway, past gardens and the boat basin to his work every morning – even when it rained or snowed. When I asked him if this wasn’t uncomfortable, he said emphatically “No, its no different than skiing – you just have to dress for the occasion.”
– Perhaps above all, Amir loved to maintain his bicycle. He was intimately familiar with every gear, shaft and spoke of his bicycle. He bought a truing stand to perform routine maintenance for the bike in our apartment. And Amir’s facility with assembling and disassembling the bike and the joy he derived from this represented his drive to understand everything he learned and believed inside and out.
It was a privilege to be a student with Amir at Brown – to have such an independent and original friend to share the experience with. After college, and when Amir moved back to NYC, we had conversations that stretched for miles on the hiking trail, at night on the stoop of his and John’s apartment in New York and on the slope of the dustbowl after an afternoon of Frisbee.
Living with Amir meant having access to a constant stream of his unvarnished opinions on nuclear proliferation, the Simpsons, video games, the degradation of popular culture, and radical environmentalism. For example, I remember his wry smile when he said “I’d like to found a plebiscite political party.” This was typical of Amir’s statements – half serious and half provocative.
Amir drew great strength from his family, and in turn was a pillar of strength for them. He had the strongest, sense of ethics of anyone I have ever known. He told me that as a teenager he returned to a store where he had pocketed a candy bar years ago to repay them. Amir’s honesty was particularly apparent when it came to matters of business. I remember several conversations where he fretted that his Ultimate Frisbee league was turning a profit. This would make many people happy, but Amir vehemently refused to personally benefit and sought my advice on the best way to return the profits.
Amir’s disciplined and scrupulous behavior was such a strong testament to the character of his parents and his upbringing. Amir loved his brother, sister and parents. And he knew that they loved him as well. I was touched every time he would make the bike ride back to Englewood to spend Shabbos when his father was sick.
Amir’s strength of character, personality and generosity made him the natural leader of our group of friends. Amir, talented as he was, was generous with his time, intellect, money and friendship. Amir loved to give. He volunteered to walk shelter dogs, As a mentor he prepared intricate scientific experiments for his “little brother” including sampling central park pond water under a microscope, building an engine and assembling a model aircraft. His generosity extended to his childhood friends, those he met later in life, as well as to complete strangers.
People are lucky to have one best friend in life – Amir was mine. He was also the best friend of so many of us in this room, which is extraordinary. He was the epitome of a devoted son and a loving brother. I take some solace in the knowledge that Amir will continue to influence the world as we hold onto memories of his generosity, courage, convictions and his commitment to positive action.
Subject: RE: Strange Women’s Pick-up e-mail
Date: June 30, 2004
To answer your question about who organized this women’s game, it was Amir Lopatin. He was a dear friend of mine. Perhaps you knew him? 3 summers ago he organized the New York City Public Ultimate League, NYCPUL, which plays in central park. Not surprisingly, there was an imbalance of men to women in the league. We played 5-2 on a good day. Amir addressed the shortage of women in the league by sponsoring women’s pick up games. It was a huge success, and some of the women even joined the league. He did that 2 summers in a row. Last fall Amir moved to California to go to graduate school. Amir sent several emails even after he moved to California asking for a volunteer to replace himself in organizing the league. No one stepped up to run the league after his departure, not even me. On March 25, Amir was killed in a car accident.
After that, Brant Stevens volunteered to run NYCPUL.
I said I would continue the women’s pick up games that Amir had started.
Amir, thanks for helping me get back into ultimate by running NYCPUL. I wouldn’t have met all of the amazing people that I did over the past two years without you and your love for the game. Ultimate is once again a big part of my life.
2002 Baggage Handlers
2003 Yellow Fever!
Posted by the editors of DISCFORUM.COM, a website dedicated to Ultimate:
ULTIMATE MOURNS THE LOSS OF AMIR LOPATIN
We would like to note that it is generally felt that no one has done more for ultimate in Manhattan than Amir, as a founder of NYCPUL and as an excellent model of fair play and sportsmanship. We join with Amir’s family in their grief.
It is with deep sadness that I post this message, but I wanted to make sure folks knew….
Amir Lopatin, founder of the New York City Public Ultimate League and friend to countless, passed away last Friday afternoon. Amir was returning from Las Vegas to Stanford, where he had just begun a PhD program in education, when his car flipped in a freak accident.
I am sure many from Englewood, NJ (his hometown), Brown University, NYC, and most recently, Palo Alto/Stanford will want to express condolences; those interested can visit the website his family has set up at www.amirlopatin.com for contact information and to share stories or make a donation in his name.
May we all live our lives, let alone play this game, with the kind of spirit Amir embodied.
I am shocked and saddened to learn of Amir’s passing. He was an all around great guy who will truly be missed. The NYCPUL league he created brought summer league ultimate to Manhattan for the first time in years. It was so much fun to play in the league and it wouldn’t have happened without Amir’s vision, dedication and hard work. Amir worked long and hard to create NYCPUL and it would be a shame if this league ended.
I was under the impression that when Amir left town, someone else had taken over the running of NYCPUL and that there would be a league this summer. Whether this is the case or not, I think the best way to honor Amir is to keep NYCPUL going and to rename the league in his honor.
Amir was the kindest person one could know.
He deserves to be honored.
We could make tee-shirts and a custom disc in his memory. They could be the basis for a special tournament or a league.
I played NYCPUL for the 2 years it existed. The first year AMIR was on the same team as me. He did do a lot for Ultimate in Manhattan by creating this league, as Rocky said previously.
He was always very nice to everyone and worked hard to keep the league together. I remembered how he tried to give the encroaching soccer players beer to get off our field, for the 2nd year finals i believe. I think that’s how i will remember him…smiling and trying to make everyone happy.
If we do have a NYCPUL summer league this year, it
would be good to memorialize him in some way.
Amir has always been so enthusiastic……I think that one of the best things I could say about him, about anyone I would play with, is that he never got angry with people, never took it personally if a call was made against him, or didn’t go his way. I felt like he always gave me his best game.