Australian athlete Simon Dunn dead at 35

 January 26, 2023

Yahoo Sports Australia reports that Simon Dunn, the well-known Australian athlete who gained notoriety as the country's first openly-gay bobsledder, has suddenly died. 

Dunn was only 35.

What we know:

According to a spokesperson for the New South Wales (NSW) police department, Dunn was found dead on Saturday.

"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 police spokesperson said.

"The body is believed to be that of the 35-year-old occupant," the spokesperson continues. "Officers from Surry Hills Police Area Command have commenced inquiries into the circumstances surrounding his death, which is not being treated as suspicious."

The investigation into Dunn's sudden passing continues. At the time of this writing, the cause of death has not been revealed.

Who was Dunn?

Perhaps more than anything else, Dunn is known for becoming the first openly gay athlete to represent Australia in the Olympics in bobsledding. That was back in 2014.

Dunn would retire from Australia's Olympic bobsledding team in 2016. Instead, he pursued a number of other endeavors, including playing for an all-gay rugby team and even acting.

In 2021, Dunn made an attempt to return to bobsledding to represent Australia in the 2022 Winter Olympics. Dunn, however, was unable to do so after he ruptured his bicep while training.

Outside of sports, Dunn had become a top activist for the LGBTQ+ community. This led to him being nominated for the Australian LGBTI Awards Sports Personality of the Year twice, in 2018 and 2019.

Dunn's "rough year"

Dunn, according to the Daily Mail, recently posted a social media message in which he referred to 2022 as "a rough year of personal loss." This message appears to follow the end of a long-term relationship that Dunn had been in.

The outlet goes on to report that Dunn "made his mental health struggles public following the biceps injury that ended his bobsled career, sharing the pain of lying in a hospital bed and questioning whether he was a 'failure'."

It remains unclear whether Dunn's "mental health struggles" may have had anything to do with his untimely passing.

Ruby Rose Management, Dunn's agent, released a statement, following his passing, saying:

Simon was passionate about giving back to the community and volunteering. He gave his time and [used] his profile to help multiple charities. [He] was loved, adored, and respected within our community worldwide.

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