Olympic mountain biker Burry Stander was killed during training near his hometown of Shelley Beach, South Africa when he was hit by a taxi van. Stander was 25-years-old.
“On behalf of the Executive and Management Committee of Cycling South Africa, its affiliates, cyclists and the whole cycling and sporting fraternity I would like to extend our deepest sympathy and sincere condolences to his dear wife Cherise, and his loving parents Charles and Mandie, and their families on the tragic loss of their beloved Burry,” Cycling South Africa said in the statement.
“Not only is this a loss to South African sport, but we have lost a true gentleman who through his professionalism, modesty and humility, constantly showing sheer guts, represented our country with great pride.”
South African Olympic Committee President Gideon Sam also expressed his sadness saying, “I’m shattered.” Sam described Stander as a “talented, ultra-competitive, but at the same time extremely humble and a true gentleman.”
One of Stander’s South African national teammates, Oscar Pistorius, released a brief statement on Twitter.
Absolutely devastated by the tragic news of Burry Stander’s Passing. A South African Icon and sporting great. RIP my friend.
— Oscar Pistorius (@OscarPistorius) January 3, 2013
Stander leaves behind his wife, South African road race champion Cherise Taylor, who he recently married in 2012. He competed in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics and was a former under-19 and under-23 world champion.
Here is a tribute to Burry Stander.
Thoughts go out to all of his friends and family.