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Olympic rower Holmes dies

The rowing champion, who won two gold medals alongside professional partner Sir Steve Redgrave, passed away on Sunday (24Oct10) after contracting a rare waterborne disease.

The sportsman, who became a dad for the fifth time last month (Sep10), died at London’s Kings College Hospital of Weil’s disease, which is caught from river water contaminated with the urine of infected animals.

Redgrave has paid tribute to Holmes in a statement, saying, “It’s a very sad day. Andy was a fantastic athlete and a brilliant guy. British success in rowing has come from the 1980s. Andy was at the forefront. This (disease) is something most rowers know about. But it is very rare that anything happens.”

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Holmes was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) and won gold medals for Britain in 1984 and 1988.

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