LONDON (AP) – IOC President Jacques Rogge has paid tribute to former Olympic sailing champion Andrew “Bart” Simpson after his death in a training accident.
The 36-year-old Briton was trapped underwater after his catamaran capsized in San Francisco Bay on Thursday while practicing for the America’s Cup races this summer.
Rogge, a former Olympic sailor from Belgium, says in a statement to The Associated Press on Friday that “Simpson was a hugely accomplished sailor and Olympian” who “died pursuing his sporting passion.”
Rogge says “our thoughts are naturally with his family and friends and of course his fellow crew members who must be devastated by this tragic accident.”
Simpson won a gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and silver at last year’s London Games.