The last thing you expect to see when you go to a sporting event is a death, and thank God for that or else my guess is that sports would probably be a lot less popular. That’s a hot take, I know.
While every death is untimely, the loss of an athlete while playing their sport is often times more shocking and hard-hitting. These are people in prime physical shape who are seen as immortal, so when they pass it shakes the world.
Here are a few of the athletes who died while playing the sport they love.
Dale Earnhardt Sr
With over 25 years of driving experience, no one in the racing world expected to see Dale Earnhardt Sr pass away on the track.
During the 2001 Daytona 500, he was leading until he lost control of his car and hit the wall. What looked like a minor crash ended up to be the one that killed him. From then on NASCAR would require extra head and neck protection.
At only 22 years old, Puerta suffered cardiac arrest during a home game of the UEFA Cup in 2008.
The Sevilla FC midfielder was a huge part of their success in previous years. The autopsy showed that he officially died of arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy.
It’s hard to imagine someone kicking the bucket on a golf course, but in 1994 while preparing for a PGA tournament, he was complaining about arm and chest pain before heading to the first aid tent.
By the time he made it there it was already too late — he collapsed and died of a heart attack. He suffered from manic depression throughout his adult life.
Unfortunately, one of the memorable events of the 2008 Vancouver Olympic Games was the tragic death of the Georgian luger.
During a practice run on the day of the Opening Ceremonies, he lost control of his luge and hit a metal pole near the track. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.