A Brazilian Olympian has passed away at the early age of 32. Ian Matos competed at his home country’s 2016 Rio Olympics as a diver.
Matos, according to reports, was hospitalized for two months leading up to his untimely death. When he first checked in it was due to a throat infection. Sadly, that infection spread into his stomach and lungs.
Brazil’s Olympic Committee released a statement on the diver’s death. In the statement, they gave him an honorable send-off. “We are profoundly saddened to have received the news of the premature death of the Olympic diver Ian Matos, aged just 32. Team Brazil acknowledges his contribution to the evolution of the discipline. Our sincere condolences to his family and friends.”
At the 2016 Olympics, Matos was able to represent his country on the biggest stage. With the games being held in his home country there must have been a sense of great pride for the diver. He competed in the synchronized three-meter springboard. Back in 2010, he was able to earn three bronze medals at the 2010 South American Games.
Brazilian Diver Made Big Announcement Before 2016 Games
Not only was Ian Matos a talented and accomplished athlete in the pool, but he also represented more than that. While being an Olympian and repping your country on the biggest stage is great, he was so much more than that.
Thanks to British Diver Tom Daley, Matos came out as gay in 2014. When he made the announcement, it was met with criticism. While the Rio games were two years away, some feared it might hurt his image or bring unwanted criticism. However, he decided it was the right choice.
“From a young age, I knew I was gay, but it was here that I got to live my sexuality,” he said at the time.
Two years after coming out, he would make the 2016 team for the Rio Olympics and competed to his best ability. The diver will be missed by his family and friends who attempted to fundraise during Ian Matos’ hospitalization.
Ian Matos Showed Improvement Before Health Went South
During his hospitalization, Ian Matos started to turn the corner, or so it seemed. According to reports, the diver showed signs of improvement before his health turned for the worst on Wednesday. In order to see Ian, his family was able to raise more than $5000 to go see him in Rio.
After coming out in 2014, the diver participated in the United Nations’ ‘Free and Equal’ campaign. That campaign sought equal and fair treatment of the LGBTQ+ community all across the world. There have been a number of tributes from fans and others on social media in the wake of his death. The diver will be deeply missed by his loved ones.