BUDAPEST, Hungary – Two-time Olympic canoeing gold medalist Gyorgy Kolonics died Tuesday after collapsing in his canoe during training.
The 36-year-old Kolonics lost consciousness and paramedics were not able to resuscitate him, the Hungarian Olympic Committee said, adding that the probable cause of death was heart failure.
"Kolonics was a true legend of Hungarian sports, an athlete at the peak of his career who was in a class by himself," committee president Pal Schmitt said in a statement.
Kolonics won Olympic gold medals in the 500-meter canoe doubles at the 1996 Atlanta Games and in the 500-meter singles at the 2000 Sydney Games. He also won bronze in Atlanta in the 1,000-meter doubles race, teamed with Csaba Horvath, and in the same event at the 2004 Athens Games with Gyorgy Kozmann.
Kolonics won 15 world championships between 1993-2007, most of them teamed with Horvath.
In May, Kolonics and Kozmann won a silver medal in the 500-meter doubles race at the European Championships in Milan, Italy.
Kolonics was training with Kozmann for next month's Beijing Games, which would have been his fifth Olympics.