Mark Lenzi, a gold-medal winning Olympic diver, has passed away at the age of 43 in Greenville, N.C., reports the AP. His mother Ellie told the local paper, The Freelance-Star out of Fredericksburg, Val, that Lenzi had been in the hospital the past two weeks because of fainting caused by low blood pressure.
Lenzi was a wrestler in high school when he saw Greg Louganis compete at the 1984 Summer Olympics and switched to diving. By 1992, he was earning a gold medal in the 3-meter springboard at the Barcelona games. In 1996, he earned a bronze medal in Atlanta for the same event. No American male diver has won an Olympic diving medal since Lenzi. Lenzi was also the first diver to score 100 points on a single dive.
Lenzi and his wife Dorothy were currently residing in Greenville, where Lenzi was the diving coach for the men’s and women’s teams at East Carolina University.
USA Diving chairman Bob Rydze says in a statement on the organization’s website, “As an Olympic gold and bronze medalist, Mark was one of our country’s greatest divers, and he will be missed tremendously.”
Our condolences to his family and friends.