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Thread: Recent Cardiac Events Amongst Sports People

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    Default Re: Recent Cardiac Events Amongst Sports People

    Quote Akebono, First Foreign-Born Sumo Grand Champion, Dies at 54

    Born in Hawaii, he moved to Japan in 1988 and won 11 grand championships. His success drove a resurgence in the sport’s popularity.





    By Victoria Kim, Hisako Ueno and Yan Zhuang
    Published April 10, 2024 Updated April 13, 2024

    Taro Akebono, a Hawaii-born sumo wrestler who became the sport’s first foreign grand champion and helped to fuel a resurgence in its popularity in the 1990s, has died in Tokyo. He was 54.

    He died of heart failure in early April while receiving care at a hospital, according to a statement from his family that was distributed by the United States military in Japan on Thursday.

    When he became Japan’s 64th yokozuna, or grand champion sumo wrestler, in 1993, he was the first foreign-born wrestler to achieve the sport’s highest title in its 300-year modern history. He went on to win a total of 11 grand championships, and his success set the stage for an era during which foreign-born wrestlers dominated the top levels of Japan’s national sport.

    Akebono, who was 6-foot-8 and 466 pounds when he was first named yokozuna at 23, towered over his Japanese opponents. Painfully shy outside the dohyo, as the sumo ring is known, he was known for using his height and reach to keep opponents at a distance.

    Akebono’s rivalry with the Japanese brothers Takanohana and Wakanohana, both grand champions, was a major driver of sumo’s renewed popularity in the 1990s. During the opening ceremony for the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan, Akebono demonstrated the sumo ring entrance ritual for an international audience, commanding the arena with his hulking physique and captivating stare.

    How The Times decides who gets an obituary. There is no formula, scoring system or checklist in determining the news value of a life. We investigate, research and ask around before settling on our subjects. If you know of someone who might be a candidate for a Times obituary, please suggest it here.
    Learn more about our process.

    Taro Akebono was born Chad George Ha’aheo Rowan in Waimanalo, Hawaii, in 1969. He played basketball in high school and briefly at Hawaii Pacific University before moving to Japan in 1988 at the invitation of a fellow Hawaiian wrestler who had become a trainer.

    Knowing nothing about Japan and speaking almost no Japanese, he began living and training at a sumo stable governed by strict hierarchy, cooking and cleaning for more experienced wrestlers. Soon he was charting a meteoric rise through the sport’s ranks, dominating with his size.

    “We were just brute strength,” he said in a later interview, referring to himself and his fellow wrestlers from Hawaii in the 1990s. “We won fast or we lost fast. We weren’t too technical.”

    In 1992, the Yokozuna Promotion Council, which decides which wrestlers are worthy of sumo’s top honor, denied it to another Hawaiian, saying that no foreigner could possess the dignity befitting the title. The decision prompted allegations of racism and raised questions about the council’s selection process. Only a handful of wrestlers hold the title at the same time, and they are selected through a vote from candidates who have won two consecutive tournaments.

    A year later, just five years after arriving in Japan and joining the sport, Akebono broke through that barrier.

    He later said in interviews that he rarely considered his nationality in the ring, thinking of himself as a sumo wrestler first and foremost. He became a naturalized Japanese citizen in 1996, and changed his name to Taro Akebono. His chosen sumo name, Akebono, means “dawn” in Japanese.

    “I wasn’t thinking, ‘I’m an American, I’m going to go out there, plant my flag in the middle of the ring and take on the Japanese,’” he told The New York Times in 2013.

    He gained acceptance and popularity in the sumo world in part because people in Japan appreciated his devotion to the sport, even though, in his early competitions, cheers from the crowd were far louder for his Japanese-born rivals.

    “He makes me forget he is a foreigner because of his earnest attitude toward sumo,” Yoshihisa Shimoie, editor of Sumo magazine, said in 1993. By the early 2000s, dozens of the ranked wrestlers were foreign, including Mongolians, a Georgian and an Argentine.
    According to his family, Akebono is survived by his wife, Christine Rowan; a daughter, Caitlyn; and two sons, Cody and Connor.

    In 2001, he retired from the sport at 31, citing chronic knee problems. He went on to train younger wrestlers, and he also competed in kickboxing, professional wrestling and mixed martial arts.

    “I am retiring,” he said at the time, “with a feeling of great gratitude for being given the chance to become a yokozuna and experience something open to only very few people.”

    https://www.nytimes.com/2024/04/10/w...sumo-dead.html

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    Default Re: Recent Cardiac Events Amongst Sports People

    Quote ITALIAN FOOTBALLER, 26, DIES FOLLOWING ON-PITCH HEART ATTACK





    15 April 2024

    Mattia Giani, a 26-year-old footballer for Castelfiorentino in Eccellenza, has died in Florence after suffering a heart attack on the pitch on Sunday, on the anniversary of Piermario Morosini’s passing.

    Castelfiorentino Mayor Alessio Falorni sadly confirmed on Monday morning that 26-year-old footballer Mattia Giani had died at the Careggi hospital in Florence, the day after suffering a heart attack during a competitive Eccellenza match (Italy’s 5th division) between his club Castelfiorentino and Lanciotto Campi.

    The incident happened at the Stadio Comunale Lanciotto Ballerini in Campi Bisenzio, on the outskirts of Florence, at minute 15. Giani reportedly collapsed after taking a shot on target, in a game where his parents were watching from the stands.

    Giani suffers heart attack

    Sky TG 24 reports the 26-year-old Italian footballer had a cardiac arrest followed by a seizure. Doctors immediately rushed to the pitch to give Giani a cardiac massage and the player was intubated and taken to Careggi hospital.

    A few hours later, Roma defender Evan Ndicka also collapsed in a Serie A match between Udinese and Roma, but it was excluded the Giallorossi defender had suffered a cardiac arrest despite initial fears.

    Giani collapsed on the anniversary of Piermario Morosini’s death. The ex-Livorno midfielder suffered a heart attack on the pitch on April 14, 2012, during a Serie B match between Pescara and the Amaranto. He died at the Pescara hospital a few hours later.

    Atalanta‘s Academy, La Dea named one of their Curvas after the former Italian midfielder.
    https://onefootball.com/en/news/ital...ttack-39352128

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    Default Re: Recent Cardiac Events Amongst Sports People

    Quote Albany 2024 NFL draft hopeful AJ Simon dies at 25





    TYLER DRAGON USA TODAY
    7 hours ago

    Former Albany defensive lineman AJ Simon, a 2024 NFL draft hopeful, has died at the age of 25, the school announced Wednesday.

    "The UAlbany football program was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of former student-athlete Amitral 'AJ' Simon this morning," Albany said in a statement posted on social media. "AJ was a tremendous young man and even better teammate throughout his time at UAlbany. He was a role model both on and off the field, serving as a pillar to this program over the last two years. He will be profoundly missed.”

    Simon’s cause of death was not immediately announced.

    Simon earned first-team All-CAA honors after recording 55 tackles and 12.5 sacks last season. ESPN ranked the defensive lineman as the 448th prospect in next week’s NFL draft.

    “Two joyous year coaching and becoming friends with AJ Simon,” Albany coach Greg Gattuso said in a statement on social media. “My prayers are dedicated to the Simon family. I love you AJ and will always have a special place in my heart for #8.”

    Simon played two seasons at Albany. He was a student-athlete at Bloomsburg University prior to attending Albany. He was from Tobyhanna, Pennsylvania.
    https://eu.usatoday.com/story/sports...y/73363750007/

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    Default Re: Recent Cardiac Events Amongst Sports People

    Quote Fife team Kingdom Kangaroos' tribute to cherished team-mate Ross McGhie who died at age of 25

    A Fife sports team has paid tribute following the death of cherished team-mate at the heart of its leadership team.




    By Allan Crow
    Published 15th Apr 2024


    Ross McGhie played with Kingdom Kangaroos, the only Kingdom-based Aussie Rules team playing in the Scottish League. The club trains at Beveridge Park in Kirkcaldy and plays its home games at Glenrothes Rugby Club’s pitch. The 25-year old, from Leven, who joined the club in 2022, took unwell whilst playing in a weekend game.

    The club said it was devastated at his death – it said he was ”the first to volunteer his help and was always there for friends and teammates.”

    In a statement, the club said: “He quickly set a high standard for his relentlessness on the pitch and his selfless attitude. He was prepared to play in any position - forward, in the midfield or defence - so long as it ultimately benefited the team and his teammates. His courage, talent and commitment to a game that he had only just discovered was an inspiration and led to him being awarded as the Roos' best first-year player.

    "Ross was elevated to the club's leadership group for the 2024 season, such was the esteem he was held in by the playing group. In what would prove to be his final match for the club on Saturday, Ross showcased his trademark bravery to kick two crucial goals that helped lead the Roos to their first win of the season.

    "Away from the pitch, Ross had a unique ability to instantly connect with those he met for the first time. His cheeky grin was infectious and could light up the darkest room. He was the first to volunteer his help and was always there for friends and teammates whenever they needed him. He was loved intensely and will be greatly missed.

    "Our deepest thoughts and sincere condolences go out to his family and friends. Ross will remain a Roo in our hearts forever.”
    https://www.fifetoday.co.uk/news/peo...-of-25-4591486

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    Default Re: Recent Cardiac Events Amongst Sports People

    Quote Tragedy strikes Two Oceans race after two participants die








    15 APRIL 2024 LIESL SMIT

    Two people died after running the Two Oceans Ultra Marathon and Half Marathon this weekend.

    The Ultra runner, the 60 year old Siraaj Toefy, who had completed his 12th Marathon on Saturday, felt unwell post the race and was transported to hospital where he passed away after suffering a stroke.

    On Sunday, a runner, whose name is still unknown, collapsed with only 1 km to go to the finish line of the Half Marathon. Medics were on scene, but they could not revive him.

    Meanwhile, tributes have been paid to Toefy, from Schaapkraal near Philippi.

    Fellow runner and training partner Adnaan Mohamed wrote on Facebook that Toefy will be sorely missed:

    Toefy’s eldest daughter Mishkah Hendricks told Netwerk24 on Sunday that her father’s health was excellent.

    He completed the Ultra marathon on Saturday in almost 5 hours and 30 minutes. Almost immediately he started complaining about his head spinning and his neck being stiff.

    They decided to bring the car closer to where he was to pick him up, but by that time her father couldn’t get up and was slurring his words.

    Medical staff took him on a stretcher to the medical tent where the doctor said he should be taken immediately to the Groote Schuur hospital.

    Hospital staff informed the family that he had suffered a stroke and needed immediate medication. Sadly, he passed away shortly after receiving the medication.

    Hendricks says the family were shocked to get the news.

    “We were still so optimistic. We know my father and he is a strong man. We still said we were not going to let him participate in next year’s Two Oceans. But then we got the news.”


    Toefy leaves behind his wife, two daughters and three grandchildren.

    Two Oceans Marathon organisers extended condolences to the families of both men.
    https://smilefm.co.za/tragedy-strike...ticipants-die/

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    Default Re: Recent Cardiac Events Amongst Sports People

    (My emphasis below)

    Quote British talent Anna Shackley forced to retire at 22 with heart arrhythmia

    Scot had ridden for SD Worx-Protime for three seasons, but had not competed since her diagnosis in January





    13:09, Tuesday 16th April 2024
    George Poole

    At the age of 22, Anna Shackley has been forced to retire from professional cycling, with the SD Worx-Protime rider diagnosed with cardiac arrhythmia that is deemed incompatible with elite-level sport.

    The news was announced by her team on Tuesday morning, bringing an end to Shackley's four-year professional career that yielded some high placings on general classification at the UAE Tour and prestigious under-23 event, the Tour de l'Avenir.

    Having turned professional with the Dutch WorldTeam in 2021, Shackley had steadily become a reliable worker for her superstar teammates and in recent seasons, made a name for herself as a future contender for stage race titles. However, she had been unable to race in 2024 as a result of her diagnosis at the beginning of the year.

    "She was diagnosed with cardiac arrhythmia in January," wrote SD Worx-Protime in a statement released on social media. "Following this, she underwent a heart screening in Maxima Medisch Centrum in Veldhoven in collaboration with the SD Worx-Protime's medical team.

    "Here, several irregularities were found. That was the reason to immediately take her off the bike and do more extensive tests and procedures at the hospital in Barcelona near her hometown. All this time, Shackley (22) did not train or compete in races."

    In light of the tests and procedures that Shackley has undergone in Barcelona, it has been decided that the 22-year-old Brit can no longer compete in elite-level sport and will immediately retire.

    Shackley's case is the latest in a growing list of riders to be diagnosed with irregular heart conditions in recent seasons, with Sonny Colbrelli, Wesley Kreder and Nathan Van Hooydonck all forced into similar premature retirements.

    Read more: Nathan van Hooydonck forced to retire due to heart problems

    Peter Sagan, meanwhile, has recently undergone two bouts of heart surgery to correct his case of cardiac arrhythmia. Unlike those mentioned, the Slovakian has thus far been able to return to training and competition as he pursues Olympic success on the mountain bike this summer.

    Read more: The latest updates on Peter Sagan's heart condition

    A short but successful career for Shackley
    For Shackley, the news will no doubt come as a great disappointment and her team have called for privacy to be granted to the Scottish retiree over the coming months.

    "We are very sorry to see Anna's cycling career end like this," said SD Worx-Protime sports manager Danny Stam. "She was one of the bigger talents in the women's peloton. We saw in recent years that she was making good progress and we believed she could grow to the world top. It is especially unfortunate for her that she is now forced to stop.

    "On the other hand, we are also happy that we were able to prevent any more dangerous complications. We hope Anna can return to her 'normal' life and we will work with the team to see how we can help."

    Prior to her retirement, Shackley had achieved a lot at a young age in her fledgling cycling career. Growing up in a suburb of Glasgow, the 22-year-old rode for Glasgow Riderz, Team 22 and Team Breeze as an amateur on the road, before making a name for herself as a notable track cyclist.

    Competing in the endurance events, Shackley became a national champion in 2020 in both the points race and the team pursuit, before later representing Great Britain and Scotland, respectively, at the 2020 Olympic Games and the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

    Having penned professional terms with SD Worx-Protime in 2021, the Scot enjoyed some fine performances in her debut season as part of the Women's WorldTour, placing 13th at the Ladies Tour of Norway and coming runner-up in the youth classification to teammate Niamh Fisher-Black.

    Over the following seasons, Shackley continued to progress as a GC rider and in what would prove to be her final season, claimed fourth at the UAE Tour before finishing runner-up to Shirin van Anrooij at the Tour de l'Avenir Femmes.

    Her final WorldTour race saw Shackley finish seventh at the Tour de Romandie, before taking a silver medal in the under-23 category at the 2023 European Championships Road Race.
    https://www.globalcyclingnetwork.com...art-arrhythmia

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    Default Re: Recent Cardiac Events Amongst Sports People

    Quote Former Twins first-round pick David McCarty dies at 54

    McCarty won the World Series with the Red Sox in 2004.





    NOLAN O'HARA 11 HOURS AGO

    David McCarty, the former Minnesota Twins first-round pick who also won a drought-ending World Series with the Boston Red Sox in 2004, has died. He was 54.

    The Red Sox announced news of McCarty’s passing on Friday, saying he died of a cardiac event in Oakland, California.

    "Our hearts are heavy with the passing of Dave McCarty," the Red Sox said on social media. "Playing three seasons with the Red Sox, he will forever be a part of the curse-breaking 2004 World Series championship team. We send our love to his wife, Monica, and their children, Reid and Maxine."

    McCarty was drafted No. 3 overall by the Twins in the 1991 MLB draft. He played for Minnesota from 1993-95 and spent 11 seasons in all in the majors. He played in 630 games and was a career .242 hitter, recording 362 hits, 36 home runs and 175 RBIs throughout his career.

    McCarty, a first baseman and outfielder, was part of the 2004 World Series Red Sox team that broke the club’s 86-year championship drought that became known as the “Curse of the Bambino." McCarty also spent time with the Kansas City Royals, Tampa Bay Rays, San Francisco Giants, Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics.

    McCarty later worked as an analyst for NESN from 2005-08.
    https://www.si.com/mlb/twins/news/fo...rty-dies-at-54

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