MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Australia’s former rowing world champion and Olympic silver medalist Sarah Tait has died of cancer at the age of 33.
She died early on Thursday morning, the Australian Olympic Committee said in a media release.
Tait, who won silver with Kate Hornsey in the women’s pairs at the 2012 London Games, was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2013 and stepped away from rowing the following year to fight the disease.
A three-times Olympian and member of the women’s eight that won the 2005 world championship, she is survived by her husband Bill, a senior national rowing coach, and her two children.
After giving birth to her first child in 2009, she became the first mother to row for Australia at an Olympics in London.
“Sarah was an extremely talented Olympic rower taken far too soon from us. She battled to the end,” Australian Olympic Committee president John Coates said.
“The legacy she leaves for younger women who would like to pursue both motherhood and elite sport is truly inspirational.”
Tait captained Australia’s rowing team at the Beijing Olympics and was in the women’s eight at Athens during the infamous “Lay Down Sally” final, when team mate Sally Robbins stopped rowing in the final stretch of the race and lay back on a team mate behind her.
Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Peter Rutherford