Gold Medalist Dead After Boat Capsizes During Training in UK

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By Sami K. Martin , Christian Post Reporter
May 10, 2013|9:23 am

An Olympic gold medalist from the U.K. died while practicing for the upcoming America's Cup races. Andrew "Bart" Simpson's boat capsized, trapping him underwater and killing him while injuring another sailor.

Simpson was only 36 years old and died from drowning after being trapped underwater for 10 minutes. Rescuers were able to bring his body to shore and paramedics performed CPR, but he was pronounced dead minutes later. The other sailor suffered only minor injuries.

"The entire Artemis team is devastated by what happened," CEO Paul Canyard said in a statement on the Artemis Racing website. "Our heartfelt condolences are with Andrew's wife and family."

Simpson is the second sailor killed during training for the America's Cup. In 1999, Martin Wizner died when he was hit in the head by a piece of broken equipment.

The Coast Guard is looking into what caused the boat to collapse but so far have no ideas. Friends, family, and fellow athletes have all paid their respects to Simpson and spoke of his good character.

After winning gold in the Star class at the Beijing Olympics, he was made an MBE in the 2009 New Year Honors list.

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"You win a gold medal with your best friend and you're on the podium and the national anthem is played and you've just had a really tough regatta, it's not like we won it easy. It was a real war. Iain looked like he was going to cry so I put my arm around his back and said, 'Nice work mate.' He was just exhausted or about to cry, I'm not sure which, but he is quite a tough lad so he kept it in," Simpson told The Independent.

Simpson had a successful career as a sailor and took home gold in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and a silver medal in the 2012 Olympics. He leaves behind a wife, Leah, and their son.

 

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