Mark Lenzi, Olympic diving gold medalist, dead at 43
I thought he was a hottie! RIP.
Mark Lenzi, the 1992 gold medalist in men's springboard, died Monday at age 43.
The American diver was hospitalized in Greenville, N.C., two weeks ago after suffering a series of fainting spells.
Lenzi earned gold at the Barcelona Olympics and followed it up with a bronze medal performance in Atlanta. He was an All-American diver at Indiana University, winning championships in the one-meter springboard, three-meter springboard and platform events in 1989.
No American man has won a diving medal since Lenzi.
The Fredericksburg, Va., native had spent the past two seasons coaching diving at East Carolina University.
Lenzi started diving at age 16, after seeing Greg Louganis win gold at the 1984 Olympics. He briefly left his parents' house later that year when he told his father he was quitting wrestling to take up the sport. After two weeks of living with a neighbor, Mark moved back home.
His father sat in the stands in Barcelona wearing a handmade shirt and later admitted that he had been wrong about his son's pursuit. "Sometimes," Bill Lenzi said at the time, "maybe parents don't know what's best for their kids."
Mark Lenzi continued American dominance in the springboard, following up Louganis' two gold medals by pulling ahead late in the competition to earn his spot on the podium. Since then, Chinese men have ruled the diving well.
In 1991, Lenzi became the first diver to score 100 points on a single dive. His reverse three-and-one-half tuck scored him 101.85 points at the U.S. Indoor Championships.
"As an Olympic gold and bronze medalist, Mark was one of our country's greatest divers, and he will be missed tremendously," USA Diving chairman Bob Rydze said in a statement posted on USAdiving.org.
He is survived by his wife, Dorothy.
I was going to guess heart, but his fainting spells were caused by low blood pressure. What does that suggest? Dehydration?
Fainting spells suggest an arrythmia - a disturbance in the electrical pathway of the heart that causes it to beat irregularly, too fast, to slow, or to stop beating altogether. I'm a physician - that would be my best guess. It's why people get pacemakers - to jump them out of the irregular rhythm before it kills them. But yes, obviously the question of a chronic illness like AIDS is going to crop up.
(R26) Low blood pressure IS the heart - they're two parts of the same system. Most likely cause of a death with preceding fainting spells is an irregular heart rhythm - the heart beats so fast it can't fill properly and not enough blood gets to the brain, which causes loss of consciousness, but it can also result in the heart simply seizing up (I'm a doctor, that's my best guess).
Few people die of dehydration in the western world, especially when they're in hospital hooked up to an iv! Remember recently Jason Russell of Invisible Children went nuts, and was running around naked in public? They listed the cause of his behaviour as dehydration and malnutrition - what a joke! He sure looked pretty hydrated and well-nourished from what I could see - which was a lot!
What a pleasure to see a diver or swimmer who did not shave their chest.
Sad to see that he seems to have gained a bit of weight after being so lean and toned.
Very sad news.
He was cute but not all that. If you compare the younger pics to the recent ones, you see he always had that unfortunate face with the weird mouth. Great body in his day, and the fur is a pleasantly unexpected enhancement, "but her face...". The big blue peepers help, but he's still average at best. He didn't get fug when he aged, he just got bald and fat.
Oh and sorry for your loss, Mrs. Lenzi @ R20.
Is Jennifer a doctor ???
[quote]He is survived by his wife Dorothy.
There was a woman on Today recently who had fainting spells. Her sister forced her to go to the ER after she fainted one day. She later died in the ER when her heart stopped. They restarted it and put in a pace maker. She now publicizes fainting syndrome which is not well-known.
She fainted to death, Dorothy.
FAINTED. To death.
If it was arrythmia, wouldn't that have been discovered during his two-week stay at the hospital? The obituary sounds like he had the fainting spells but the cause was never known.
A tragic case of tinynips. It'll get you every time.
Whacked off to Mr. Lenzi more times than I can remember. That beefy, furry little wrestler torso those legs and ass really did it for me.
Great smile and killer eyes.
R37 - his name is Mark.
Living in g-ville, nc will kill anybody!
He looked somewhat like Bradley Cooper when he was younger.
Thanks for the giggle, R37 & R38.
He was definitely a hottie back in the day. I'm not too surprised about the weight gain. I can imagine going from an elite athlete to a "regular person" does a number on a person's metabolism. IIRC he was also pretty short. I have found myself strangely affected by his death. Maybe because we are the same age and the circumstances seem so vague.
He died because he lived in a small town which probably only had incompetent doctors imported from some Caribbean medical school.
He was a nasty Christofacist Rethug always thinking that Greg L. could "change" from gay to straight. (maybe like he did)
r42: Interesting line from the TIMES obit:
"Lenzi started his athletic career as a wrestler. He enjoyed the competition but did not enjoy starving himself to reach the needed weight. "
Sounds like after he won he said "fuck it" and didn't watch his diet as carefully.