Duncan Pugh: Perth man and former Australian Olympic bobsledder dies aged 48 after brain aneurysm
Australian Olympic bobsledder Duncan Pugh has died aged 48 after suffering a sudden brain aneurysm.
Pugh, who represented Australia at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, suffered a brain haemorrhage in his hometown of Perth on January 24 and unfortunately could not be saved.
He leaves behind his wife, McKenzie and two sons Charlie (7) and George (6).
“We are heartbroken and simply lost for words,” his wife McKenzie wrote in an online obituary.
“You were the rock of our family and wore your heart on your sleeve. You were so very proud of our two sons, the best father anyone could hope for. You made me feel like the center of your world.
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“Your passion and determination will live on in our boys forever.”
Pugh first got involved in bobsleigh when he was introduced to the sport by a friend, he went on to make his debut on the international bobsleigh circuit at the 2007 European Cup.
Just two years later, he and fellow Aussie Chris Spring won bronze in the two-man competition at the 2009 America’s Cup in Canada.
The following year, Pugh made his Olympic debut at the Vancouver Winter Games, although his Olympic campaign was over when he was knocked out in the first round of competition after the accident left him with a concussion.
During the first run of the two-man event, he and pilot Jeremy Rolleston’s sled overturned, causing them to slide down the track upside down and the pair unable to finish the race.
Camera icon Duncan Pugh, who tragically died of a brain aneurysm, with his wife McKenzie. Credit: Facebook
The pair were then eliminated from more runs after failing to finish the race and were eventually forced to withdraw from the four-man sled competition due to their injuries.
The 2010 Winter Olympics were the only Olympics in which Pugh competed after the accident.
Pugh went on to become a teacher working for the past 17 years at Newman College, a Catholic school in Perth’s inner north-west.
He was also a volunteer coach for the Wests Scarborough Rugby Union Club.
A GoFundMe page has been set up by family friend Levi Bristow for Pugh’s wife and sons to cover the medical bills and funeral expenses.
Camera icon Duncan Pugh represented Australia at the 2010 Winter Olympics in bobsleigh. Pictured with his family, wife, McKenzie and two sons Charlie (7) and George (6). Credit: Facebook
Mr Bristow said Pugh “will always be remembered as a legend” who will be “missed every day”.
“[He was] a fantastic father to his sons, a beloved husband, son, brother and uncle to his family,” Bristow wrote.
Tributes poured in for the beloved father-of-two.
Newman College said in a statement: “Duncan will be fondly remembered as an important member of the Newman community and will remain in our hearts for years to come.”
“His commitment to students and colleagues was unwavering,” the statement read.
Bobsleigh and Skeleton Australia, the national governing body for the sport, said Pugh was “much too young”.
“Our little bobsleigh family took a big hit this week with the passing of Pughie,” they wrote online.