Officials in Australia have confirmed that the nation’s first openly gay Olympic bobsledder, Simon Dunn, died suddenly at age 35.
Dunn’s body was reportedly found at his home in Sydney on Saturday. Police do not feel the death is suspicious and are going on the assumption that there is a medical reason for the passing, according to Yahoo Sports.
Ruby Rose Management confirmed the news with a statement saying, “About 10 am on Saturday, January 21, 2023, police were called to a unit on Crown Street, Surry Hills, after reports the body of a man had been found inside. The body is believed to be that of the 35-year-old occupant. Officers from Surry Hills Police Area Command have commenced inquiries into the circumstances surrounding his death, which is not being treated as suspicious.”
Dunn rose to fame in 2014 when he became the first openly gay member of the country’s Olympic bobsledding team. After retiring from the team in 2016, Dunn played for an all-gay rugby team, engaged in media appearances, and explored acting.
In 2021, Dunn attempted to make a bobsledding comeback by working to join the Australian team for the 2022 Winter Olympics. But his dream was dashed when he ruptured a bicep muscle during training.
Dunn also engaged in LGBTQ activism and got in a public spat with rugby union star Israel Fola who publicly proclaimed that all gay people are going to hell during an appearance on Sky News.
Dunn blasted the homophobic culture of rugby, saying, “There is still homophobia in sport. It’s a culture that has been created and embedded over decades, and I think we’re still at the tail end of that with the work we need to do to put an end to it,” the Daily Mail reported.
Activists also praised him for publicly kissing his partner after his rugby team, the Sydney Convicts, won their final in 2018.