Australian Olympic track cycling champion Stephen Wooldridge is being remembered for his tireless contribution to the sport after his death at the age of 39.
Wooldridge won Olympic gold in the 4000m team pursuit at Athens in 2004, also claiming four world titles in the same discipline during the 2000s.
He was not part of the quartet of Graeme Brown, Brad McGee, Brett Lancaster and Luke Roberts who won the pursuit final in Athens.
But along with Peter Dawson, he was awarded a gold medal due to his participation in the preliminary round.
Cycling NSW confirmed the cyclist’s death in a statement.
“Stephen was an inspirational figure in track cycling, particularly in his home state of NSW,” the governing body said.
“Cycling NSW’s thoughts are with Stephen’s family and his friends during this difficult time.”
— Cycling Today (@CyclingTodayEn) August 15, 2017
Wooldridge, who also won gold at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, is being remembered for his efforts in supporting young cyclists.
Cycling promoter Phil Bates said Wooldridge was Australia’s most successful track pursuit cyclist at the time of his retirement.
“In your lifetime, you give support, encouragement and the opportunity for young cyclists to reach their goal,” Bates wrote on cycling magazine Ride’s website.
“In our sport of cycling, you see some conquer with lesser effort than others. Then you witness those that continue to work harder and reach even greater heights.”