St. Joseph graduate, 31, dies during triathlon

A former Shelton man died while participating in a triathlon Saturday, June 8, in Long Island, N.Y.

James N. Olayos Jr.

James Olayos Jr., 31, of Brooklyn, N.Y., son of Notre Dame-Fairfield High School Director of Athletic Advancement James Olayos, Sr., was competing in the Robert J. Aaron Memorial Mighty Montauk Triathlon when he died.

Olayos was a graduate of St. Joseph High School in Trumbull, where he played on the football and baseball teams and was the captain of the basketball team. He attended Eastern Connecticut State University (ECSU), where he played on the NCAA men’s basketball team and was a member of the school’s athletic training staff.

Upon graduating from ECSU, Olayos went on to earn his doctor of physical therapy degree at Franklin Pierce University in Manchester, N.H., achieving a 4.0 grade average.

He was most recently clinical director for Spear Physical Therapy in Brooklyn Heights, N.Y., where at a young age, according to his family, “he distinguished himself as one of their most admired and respected professionals.”

According to the Spear website, Olayos’s “primary interests include outpatient sports medicine, post-operative rehabilitation, gait and runner biomechanics, and high-level strength and conditioning.”

Olayos, who enjoyed basketball, climbing and golf in his free time, was a certified strength and conditioning specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association and was also certified in Functional Movement Systems’ Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA) program.

Born on Feb. 22, 1988, in Bridgeport, Olayos was the son of James N. Olayos, Sr. and Kim Olayos, both of Shelton; his wife, Chelsea Nicole Olayos; three younger brothers, Casey Olayos of Madison, Brett Olayos of Shelton and Shea Olayos of Shelton; a step-brother Alex Sullivan of New Haven; his mother, Jill Olayos; and his mother and father-in-law, Michael and Pamela VanDerheyden of Fairfield; and brother and sister-in-law Heather VanDerheyden and Hogan VanDerheyden. Jimmy was predeceased by grandparents, James “Mindy” Olayos and Rita L. Olayos. He is also survived by many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Friday, June 14, at 10 a.m. meeting directly in St. Catherine of Siena Church, 200 Shelton Road, Trumbull. Interment will follow in Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Trumbull. Friends may greet the family on Thursday from 3 to 8 p.m. at the Abriola Parkview Funeral Home, 419 White Plains Road, Trumbull.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Jimmy Olayos, Jr., Scholarship Fund, with checks payable to Notre Dame High School, 220 Jefferson Street, Fairfield, CT 06825.