By Dirk Smith, M.Sc, SDL (He/Him)

As the games went underway earlier this week, tragedy struck when Etienne Burguy, a member of Paris Aquatique Water Polo became ill and was hospitalized where he passed away. The Frenchman traveled to Copenhagen with his team and had already participated in a match on Tuesday, but later while watching another game, he suddenly became ill, according to the Copenhagen 2021 Facebook page.

Burguy’s teammates as well as the other competitors chose to continue the water polo tournament in honor of their friend and teammate, with a moment of silence in honor of him was held during the tournament.

Paris Aquatique reported that Burguy passed away because of a complication related to a congenital heart defect he has had since birth. Burguy had just turned 35 years old and was passionate about his team, sport, friends and life.  The tournament went on with Burguy in memory and as all the athletes marched on Saturday during the World Pride March, Burguy was there with us, celebrating love and pride.

Photo Credit: Copenhagen 2021