'So sad': Tributes flow after death of Olympian Ian Matos, 32

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·Sports Reporter
·2-min read
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  • Tom Daley
    Tom Daley
    British diver
  • Ian Matos
    Brazilian diver
Brazilian diver Ian Matos, pictured wth British counterpart Tom Daley, has passed away from a lung infection aged just 32. Pictire: Twitter
Brazilian diver Ian Matos, pictured wth British counterpart Tom Daley, has passed away from a lung infection aged just 32. Pictire: Twitter

Tributes have flowed for Brazilian Olympic diver Ian Matos, aged just 32, after months battling a serious lung infection.

A popular figure in his home country, Matos competed in the synchronised diving at the 2016 Rio Olympics, as well as winning three bronze medals at the 2010 South American Games.

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Matos' condition reportedly worsened on Wednesday prior to his death, in spite of the 32-year-old showing some signs of improvement after a nearly two months stay in hospital.

After developing an infection in his throat, Matos sought medical attention after it spread to his lungs and stomach.

A fundraising drive had been organised in November to raise money for his family to travel to Rio and be with him, quickly doubling the goal total of $2500.

In a statement, the Brazilian Olympic Committee mourned the loss of the highly regarded competitor.

“We are profoundly saddened to have received the news of the premature death of the Olympic diver Ian Matos, aged just 32," the statement read.

“Team Brazil acknowledges his contribution to the evolution of the discipline.

“Our sincere condolences to his family and friends.”

Brazilian diver Ian Matos inspired by British counterpart Tom Daley

Matos publicly came out as gay in 2014, a brave move considering he had been told by advisers to not to make his identity public until after the 2016 Olympics, for fear of losing sponsors.

Daley initially said he was bisexual in 2013, before coming out as gay soon afterwards.

In an interview in 2014, Matos told a Brazilian newspaper he had been inspired by Daley's honestly, and felt he could no longer hide who he was.

In the interview, he said the burden of hiding who he was and keeping various partners out of the public eye became too much.

After coming out, Matos was a participant in the United Nations' 'Free and Equal' campaign, which calls for fair and equitable treatment of the LGBTIQ+ community across the world.

Tributes have been posted to social media in the wake of the popular figure's death.

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