Duncan Pugh's sudden death at 48 leaves Winter Olympics community shattered

The Aussie Winter Olympian's wife has shared her devastation after his tragic death.

Duncan Pugh, pictured here at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
Duncan Pugh at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Image: Getty

The Australian sporting community has been rocked by the tragic death of Winter Olympian Duncan Pugh at age 48. Pugh suffered a brain aneurysm at his home in Perth last week and could not be saved.

Pugh's wife McKenzie shared the devastating news on Tuesday. In an obituary in The West Australian, she wrote: “We are heartbroken and simply lost for words. Taken far too soon.

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“You were the rock of our family and wore your heart on your sleeve. You were so very proud of our two boys, the best dad anyone could have hoped for. Your passion and determination will forever live on in our boys.

“You made me feel the centre of your world. We hope you’re hanging out up there with Dougie. Love you always, your loving wife Kenz, boys Charlie and George and furbaby Lola.”

Duncan Pugh, pictured here with wife McKenzie.
Duncan Pugh and wife McKenzie. Image: Instagram

Pugh competed for Australia at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver in bobsleigh. He leaves behind two young sons aged six and seven.

Pugh had been teaching at Newman College in Perth for the last 17 years. The catholic school tweeted: “Today we share with our community the tragic news of the passing of much loved teacher Mr Duncan Pugh. This beautiful image was provided by his loving wife McKenzie. Please keep McKenzie and sons, Charlie and George in your prayers."

Duncan Pugh, pictured here in action at the Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2010.
Duncan Pugh in action at the Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2010. Image: AAP (EPA)

Sporting world pays tribute to Duncan Pugh

Bobsleigh and Skeleton Australia posted on Facebook: “Our small bobsleigh family has taken a big hit this week with the passing of Pughie – Duncan Pugh Vancouver 2010 Olympian, was and will always be remembered as a legend. A fantastic father to his boys, a beloved husband, son, brother and uncle to his family.

“An Olympian with a continued passion for sport. He was adored and highly respected as a teacher and loved by all his friends. Anyone that had a one-on-one conversation with Dunc will know exactly how easy it was to feel comfortable in his presence and grateful for his friendship.”

Pugh made his international debut in bobsleigh in 2007 at age 32 after starting his sporting career as a hurdler. He won a bronze medal at the America's Cup in Canada in 2009, before qualifying for the 2010 Winter Olympics.

He was knocked out in the first round of the two-man event in Vancouver when he and Jeremy Rolleston’s sled flipped in a nasty crash and ended upside down on the track. The crash also forced the pair to withdraw from the four-man event due to concussion.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Pugh's wife and kids.

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