Olympic Australian cyclist Stephen Wooldridge has died by suicide at the age of 39 on Tuesday.
The Sydney-born athlete won gold in the 4000m race at the 2004 Athens Olympics, which the Australian team hadn’t won since 1984. He also claimed four team pursuit world titles at the 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2006 UCI Track World Championships. Wooldridge was inducted into the NSW Sports Hall of Fame in 2015.
“Our thoughts are with Stephen’s family and friends during this very difficult time,” said Green. “Steve will be remembered by so many for not only his success in competition, but also for the contributions he made across so many roles in the sport.”
Wooldridge’s long-time mentor Phil Bates said despite knowing that the late cyclist had had struggles with his mental health, the news still came as a shock. “Really can’t believe it, it’s something that most of us didn’t see it coming,” Bates told ABC.
“Stephen was an exceptional cyclist and Olympic Champion who will forever be remembered,” said Australian Olympic Committee president John Coates.
“He was always very giving of his time to the Olympic movement, helping out with fundraising efforts whenever he could for the Australian Olympic team over the years. Our deepest condolences are with his family, friends and all of those impacted by Stephen’s passing.”
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