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Olympic Medalist Boxer Marc Leduc Dies at 42

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Mark Leduc, the Canadian boxer who won a silver medal at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, died of heat stroke Wednesday after being found unconscious on Sunday at a Toronto hotel sauna. He was 42. The year after the Olympics, Leduc retired from boxing — and came out. Remembers his friend Edward Zawadzki:

I clearly remember that late night phone call I received from him just prior to his public announcement of his homosexuality. He had a nice eastside Toronto gym on the go with a youth boxing program that he was so proud of, a boxing career that he wanted to continue for a little while still and a solid personal life that brought him the happiness that he longed for. He asked me what I thought about his upcoming press conference and my take on his situation. I remember telling him that he certainly didn’t need my advice for he already knew what he had to do for himself. I also remember telling him that he was the one who had to look into the mirror at himself, but if it helped that he was loved and respected by all his friends and colleagues and we would support him in any decision. I can’t remember when I was more proud of any one of my friends when Mark opened that part of his life to everyone with such grace and dignity.

It is now the day after receiving the shocking news of this young man’s death. I read an article from a national Toronto-based newspaper, in which the reporter made a statement about Mark coming from the homophobic world of boxing and I have a need to clarify something with her about that statement. There was nobody on the Canadian boxing team who was better liked and respected than Mark Leduc. His teammates supported him always without failure as he did them time and time again. There was not a more loyal friend to his friends! Was Mark Leduc a gay athlete? Absolutely. As important as that was to so many people, I will always remember Mark as one of the most special humans beings that I ever had the privilege of knowing.

(Photo: Terry Fong)

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16 Comments

  • Mark

    Who cares?

  • BobP

    @Mark: Obviously, not you. He was very brave to come out. He deserves credit for that. Don’t be disrespectful It’s ugly.

  • TANK

    @Mark:

    Fuck you. What purpose does typing that serve?

  • Fitz

    @TANK: From the Queen of arrogant flippancy.

  • TANK

    @Fitz:

    Aren’t you a little bit too old to still be alive?

  • Troy

    Good Lord!
    Get back in your kennels girls.
    If an uncaring comment like “who cares” offends you, you’re way too thin-skinned and uptight. Take a few deep breaths and all will be fine.

  • Mary

    @TANK: You have such a way with words! LOL

  • TANK

    @Mary:

    Thankee for your two cents. Here’s your change.

  • TANK

    @Troy:

    Really? He died and the best someone can belch up is “who cares”. Calling that out is being over sensitive? Pathetic.

  • Mary

    @TANK: Please stop playing the angry advocate across these posts. Now that’s pathetic.

  • TANK

    @Mary:

    I demand a blood sacrifice!

  • cruiser

    @Mark: Creep! That is a helluva a thing to write about a fellow human(I could see it if it was Pat Robertson), but a former Olympian…c’mon!
    Heartless!

  • kevin

    R.I.P. mark…i got to see you fight when i was a teenager….you were a great fighter….i only wish i could have done what you did…i finnished my boxing career with a 30 and 30 record in 1997….mate…you had over 180 fights and only lost 26 times…thats amazing….you got a silver medal at the olympics in 1992….please respect this man and not disrespect his loyalty to Canada….Rest in peace champ….god bless…. wish my 3 children could have seen you fight…

  • blair Marsh

    Hey Mark: Hey buddy, hope everything is going well for ya there on the other side…your going to be missed. Wish that we had of had more time to talk about things because we never seemed to be able to do that with everything always going on around us. I’m still trying to rip your newcasts and stuff but even though I am a computer expert I may need to wait another day or two until I can get the footage! Anyone want to know of tech that can destroy cancer & AIDS (like we talked about last two times) GOOGLE “RIFE TECHNOLOGY” invented 80 yrs ago. Peace!

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