Olympic gold medal diver Lenzi dies, 43
Mark Lenzi dives in 1991, a year before winning Olympic gold.
April 10th, 2012
07:29 AM ET

Olympic gold medal diver Lenzi dies, 43

Olympic gold medal diver Mark Lenzi, 43,  died Monday in a Greenville, North Carolina, hospital.

Lenzi won the gold medal in the three-meter springboard competition at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992 and returned from retirement to earn bronze in the same event at the 1996 Atlanta Games.

He was also the first diver to score 100 points for a single dive, according to his alma mater, Indiana University, which announced his death on its website Monday.

No cause of death was announced, but the Free Lance-Star in Fredricksburg, Virginia, where Lenzi once lived, said he had been hospitalized in critical condition with fainting spells and low blood pressure. His mother said he had a heart ailment, according to the report.

His brother, Billy, told the Free Lance-Star on Monday that Lenzi had internal bleeding that doctors couldn't stop.

Lenzi is the last American to win an Olympic gold medal in diving.

“It’s going to be a long time before we have another,” his former coach, Hobie Billingsley, told the Free Lance-Star.

Billingsley said Lenzi was a pressure performer.

“He didn’t show a thing in practice, but when the lights came on, he was unbelievable. The tougher the competition,  the better he would dive,” Billingsley is quoted as saying.

Lenzi was diving coach for the men's and women's teams at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina, from 2009 to 2011, according to the Indiana University news release. He had earlier been an assistant coach at Indiana.

Lenzi is survived by his wife, according to his obituary.

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Filed under: Obituary • Sports
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. banasy©

    Something known as "his package."

    April 10, 2012 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  2. nomercy101

    at first I suspected bad meat in the can, poor guy probably had a heart condition for years but was in such good shape it probably went unnoticed for too long

    April 10, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Johndoe

      Perhaps it was the constant strain from working out so hard for the meaningless Olympics that forced the heart problem to the surface.

      April 11, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Keyser

    Survived by his 'wife'.

    April 10, 2012 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • FlMom3Boys

      Did u read his obit? The wife was the LAST one shown as a survivor....... Guess the obit was written by parents?

      April 28, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Johndoe

    Athletes, no matter how so-called healthy they are, die just like the rest of us.....Whats the point of working out? We all die...so be it.

    April 11, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
  5. James

    "Lenzi is the last American to win an Olympic gold medal in diving" – A very unfortunate loss, but, this needs to state that he is the last male diver to win Olympic Gold. Laura Wilkinson won in 2000.

    April 29, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Rain

    The photo caption indicates the pic was taken in 1991 so NO, that was not the year before he won the gold medal in 1996. Check your math, CNN! Does anyone proof this stuff?

    It's sad when anyone this young passes. What a terrible loss for his family and friends.

    May 1, 2012 at 1:41 am | Report abuse |
    • kt

      He was his gold medal in 1992 – 1996! Maybe you should take your time to read the article!

      May 1, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Derota McEntire

    Watching him during Olympic '96 coverage, I couldn't help but remark that he had a sweet upper body. Lovely pecs. Damn shame about his passing.

    May 2, 2012 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
  8. MotoJB

    RIP...too young to go.

    May 9, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |