Anyone lucky enough to interact with Kelly McGarry was instantly struck by his good-natured personality and ability to make you feel like an old friend within minutes of meeting him. We at ODI were fortunate to have been able to work with Kelly over the past few years and were ecstatic when Kelly approached us about doing an edit with his beloved dog Tui. Just hours before the planned release of this edit we received the devastating news of Kelly’s passing and made the decision that it would be better to hold off on its release until those closest to him were in a position to want to share it with the rest of the world. We are honored to be able to release this now with the blessing of Kelly’s friends and family both as a fitting tribute to a great person and as a reminder to enjoy the ride of life.
For anyone who has inspired by Kelly and who would like to help continue to support his passion for mountain biking, we would encourage you to visit and contribute to one of the following Trusts that were set-up in Kelly’s honor.
Funds collected will be used to fulfill his passion by “advocating for and building mountain bike trails in New Zealand and supporting emerging/promising/rising New Zealander mountain bikers in pursuit of achieving their goals domestically and abroad.”
"While we were lucky enough to have worked with Kelly, we were not as close to him as those who lived and worked with him on a daily basis. As such we felt it was appropriate to allow those closest to him to memorialize Kelly along with this video. Paul Rayner, Kelly’s friend and videographer, provided the following words about Kelly. We encourage all those who were impacted by his life to contribute to share your thoughts and experiences in the comments as well. Our hearts and thoughts go out to all those who knew Kelly. He will certainly be missed. RIP McGazza." - Colby and everyone at ODI
"When I first got to Queenstown good fortune just seemed to spill out into my life without much prompting. Due to bad fortune, I arrived without a camera, but within 3 days a local GC, who I had never even met before, offered to lend me his camera to shoot some photos. Through a stroke of fortuitous happenstance, within a couple of weeks, I was shooting with the world famous Kelly McGarry! Now I'd not had much personal interaction with pro mountain bikers before then and like many normal people, a lot of pros are elevated to hero-like status in our eyes through magazines and films - not many of us common folk expect to ever mingle with our heroes.
He insisted on a high five over the formal handshake. I was taken aback by his open friendliness and casual demeanour, which made you feel more like an old friend rather than a new acquaintance. As we set off to hitch a ride to the top of the trail we were shooting, to retrieve his van, I told him how much I loved the last jump on the trail. Kelly suggested that I session it whilst he fetched the van. When he turned up to collect me, he shouted up: "Hey choppa, do you want me to get a photo of you on that jump?". Kelly freakin' McGarry wants to take a photo of me on a jump!? What the hell is going on? Is this real life? Where am I? I got to shoot with Kelly a number of times since I’ve been in Queenstown, and as a relative newcomer to the bike film scene, this was a big deal for me. But it did not take long for Kelly to move from fantastical mountain bike legend into the category of a friend. Although all his friends would probably still categorise him as a legend to this day. One thing that always stuck with me was that after just about every photo shoot, he would ask me if I'd like to use his bike to do a run of the trail and he’d shuttle me to the top.
This experience reflects the sentiment that Kelly really enjoyed his life and wanted others to enjoy it just as much as he did. I feel privileged to share this film with you all and hope that it carries that same sentiment, to celebrate his life and most importantly our own. That is how he would have wanted it.
Kelly, Tui and I had a real fun time shooting this film. Although Tui did get a bit grumpy sometimes when Kelly made her hit the same sections over and over again. I feel stoked to tell you that Kelly did see the final cut, and was super pumped on the film. I hope you all enjoy it just as much." - Paul Rayner- Interrobang Motion Pictures