Olympian Suicides

Olympians have usually achieved great success in sports, but such success does not always translate to other fields, nor does it guarantee happiness in one’s life. Unfortunately a number of Olympians were unable to deal with the realities of everyday life and chose to end their own. Here is the list of Olympians who have committed suicide.

Athlete Nation(s) Sport(s) Era Notes
Bill Agee USA ATH 1928 Committed suicide by slashing his wrist.
John Albrechtson SWE SAI 1968-76
Percy Almstedt SWE SAI 1920 Committed suicide by shooting himself.
Charles Aman USA ROW 1904
Alfred Annan USA GOL 1904
Yevgeny Babich URS ICH 1956 Committed suicide by hanging himself.
Eugène Balme FRA SHO 1908
Heidi Becker-Ramlow GDR DIV 1972-76
Yevgeny Belosheykin (DNS) URS ICH 1988
Ahmet Bilek TUR WRE 1960
Edith Bonlieu FRA ASK 1956 Committed suicide as member of the Order of the Solar Temple.
Franco Bontadini ITA FTB 1912 Committed suicide after a disappointment in love.
Erich Borchmeyer GER ATH 1932-36
Hugo Borja MEX BAS 1936 Committed suicide after his daughter died of an infection; date unknown
Günter Böttcher FRG HAN 1976 Committed suicide in a hospital.
Enrico Bovone ITA BAS 1968
Walter Brödel SAA FEN 1952
Jürgen Brümmer FRG GYM 1988 Committed suicide by jumping from a bridge after having killed his son.
Ricardo Cardoso BRA JUD 1988 Committed suicide in 1991 after a love disappointment.
Edwin Everett Codman USA ART 1932
Richard Corts GER ATH 1928
Ivan Viscount d'Oyley USA FEN 1900 Died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Sigi Denk AUT CYC 1972 Committed suicide by hanging.
Jacques Dimont FRA FEN 1968
Christophe Dupouey FRA CYC 1996-00
Knut Torbjørn Eggen NOR FTB 1984 Committed suicide. Noted of him that he "had come to the point of life where he was more afraid to live than to die"
István Énekes HUN BOX 1932
Jackson Fear AUS ARC 1996
Ragnar Fogelmark SWE WRE 1912
Lucien Gaudin FRA FEN 1920-28
Oskar Gloeckler GER ART 1928-32
Daan de Groot Ned NED CYC 1952
David Guttman SWE ATH 1912 Committed suicide by hanging himself.
Jerry Heidenreich USA SWI 1972
Claudia Heill AUT JUD 2004-08 Fell from the sixth floor of her flat. It is possible that she committed suicide per original press reports.
Gabriel Hernández DOM BOX 1996 He committed suicide by hanging (aged 27) nine days after his last bout against Ralph Monday.
Lutz Hoffmann GDR GYM 1980
Robert Howard USA ATH 1996-00 Committed suicide after murdering his wife.
Herbert Huber AUT ASK 1968 Committed suicide by hanging.
Yelena Ivashchenko RUS JUD 2012 Jumped from her apartment window which was on the 15th floor.
Peter Jaks SUI ICH 1988-92 Committed suicide by train.
Hamilton Jukes GBR ICH 1924
Jo Kaiser GER ATH 1960
Anneliese Kapp GER DIV 1936
Kentaro Kawatsu JPN SWI 1932
Per Kinde SWE SHO 1920 Committed suicide by hanging himself.
František Kobzík TCH ROW 1936 Committed suicide to avoid capture during World War II.
Yoshio Kojima JPN ATH 1956
Clive Longe GBR ATH 1968 Committed suicide after murdering his girlfriend.
Frank Mackey USA POL 1900 Committed suicide – shot himself while suffering from a terminal illness.
Kersten Meier FRG SWI 1972 Committed suicide by jumping from a bridge.
Eugenio Monti ITA BOB 1956-68
Mika Myllylä FIN CCS 1992-98
Takeichi Baron Nishi JPN EQU 1932-36 Possibly committed suicide during the Battle of Iwo Jima.
Marco Pantani ITA CYC 2000
Dušan Pašek TCH ICH 1984-88 Committed suicide by shooting himself.
Víctor Peralta ARG BOX 1928 Committed suicide; shot himself while suffering from terminal prostate cancer
Nils Persson SWE SAI 1912 Committed suicide by hanging himself.
Jeret Peterson USA FRS 2002-10 Died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head; found in Lambs Canyon (Utah).
Antonio Pettigrew USA ATH 2000 Committed suicide by an overdose of pills containing diphenhydramine.
Dan Pippin USA BAS 1952
Vladimír Podzimek Tch TCH SKJ 1984 Committed suicide by hanging himself.
Andrey Prokofyev URS ATH 1980 Committed suicide by hanging himself.
Pierre Quinon FRA ATH 1984
Fausto Radici ITA ASK 1976 Committed suicide by shooting himself with a handgun.
Rhoda Rennie RSA SWI 1928
Guy Revell CAN FSK 1964
Jesús Miguel Rollán ESP WAP 1988-04 Died after a fall from a balcony of a rehabilitation clinic where he was treated for depression – possibly he committed suicide.
Ludwig Count von Salm-Hoogstraeten AUT TEN 1912 Committed suicide by jumping to avoid capture by Nazis.
Stephen Scherer USA SHO 2008 Committed suicide by shooting himself.
Thomas Schleicher AUT JUD 1996 Committed suicide while in prison.
Shamil Serikov URS WRE 1980
Christine Smith AUS ASK 1964
Boris Strel YUG ASK 1980-84
Doc Strong USA WRE 1936 Committed suicide in a jail cell where he sat for public drunkenness.
Willy Sulzbacher FRA FEN 1900 Committed suicide by shooting himself.
Darren Sutherland IRL BOX 2008
Gholam Reza Takhti IRI WRE 1952-64 Officially he committed suicide but a lot of sources mention theories about being murdered for his political activities.
Hidemitsu Tanaka JPN ROW 1932
Harold Thomas NZL BOX 1932 Committed suicide by jumping from a train few hours after his fiancee's death.
Adán Torres ARG ATH 1948 Committed suicide upon becoming disabled after being struck by a vehicle – date unknown.
Fritz Traun GER ATH/TEN 1896
Kokichi Tsuburaya JPN ATH 1964
Ernst Udet GER ART 1936 Committed suicide –  shot himself after years of alcoholism and drugs
Vladimír Vávra TCH WRE 1928
Sammy Wanjiru KEN ATH 2008 Committed suicide after being found in love triangle by his wife.
Billy Ward AUS BOX 2012
Mike Whitmarsh USA BVO 1996
Percy Williams CAN ATH 1928-32
John Wood CAN CAN 1968-76
Hiromi Yamafuji JPN CYC 1964
Ikuko Yoda JPN ATH 1964
Masami Yoshida JPN ATH 1984-92

2 thoughts on “Olympian Suicides”

  1. Hi,
    I am a friend of Heidi Becker Ramlow’s daugther Astrid Ramlow Kraeft. Her olympian mother Heidi killed herself on February the 13th of 1987 after her husband Wolfgang left her for another woman and he was expecting a child with this new girlfriend. That was the reason of Heidi’s suicide, which you apparently ignored.

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