The triathlon community has been left reeling following the news that Laurent Vidal, the former ITU star and coach to New Zealand triathlete Andrea Hewitt, has died aged just 31.
Vidal passed away in New Zealand, and it’s thought that Hewitt was with him at the time. Hewitt has now flown to France to be with Vidal’s family.
Speaking to the New Zealand Herald, Vidal’s close friend and former triathlete James Elvery said:
“We are all just shattered, this is just awful news.”
“I have spoken to Andrea and she is in a state of shock right now trying to come to terms with what has happened, we all are. She is with Laurent’s family and they are supporting each other in this time of grief. Laurent was always so positive. A real inspiration to me and to so many people around the world.”
The cause of death is reported to be unknown at this stage; however Vidal suffered a cardiac arrest last year, and recovered only after being placed into an induced coma. This led to to his retirement from professional triathlon, and more recently he coached numerous ITU athletes as well as Andrea Hewitt.
Vidal had a successful and consistent career on the ITU world triathlon circuit before becoming a coach, and placed fifth at the 2012 London Olympic games.
220’s thoughts are with the family and friends of Laurent Vidal at this difficult time.