The Chainlink

4-9-18 Paris-Roubaix Cyclist Dies After Crash/Cardiac Arrest

Michael Goolaerts, 23, RIP.
For the full article:
The cycling world mourns the tragic death of Belgian cyclist Michael Goolaerts, 23, who died of cardiac arrest after a crash during the grueling Paris-Roubaix race Sunday.

Note: As with any tragedy in life, it isn't unusual to analyze the facts and circumstances to determine exactly what happened and how to prevent it from happening over and over again in the future. With a sport as interesting and exciting as road racing, it should not be exempted from this scrutiny .

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How horrible - only 23.  Sad.

"Michael Goolaerts death raises questions as to why so many young competitive cyclists suffer heart attacks."
Doping, or heart damage caused by endurance sports. Genetic defect stress failure?

I think it's deplorable that this young man passed in the presence of family and friends just days ago and the "why" is already spotted with the word "doping".  May he rest in peace.  And showing a video of his crash, please consider how you would feel if he was your son, or your brother.

 As with any tragedy in life, it isn't unusual to analyze the facts and circumstances to determine exactly what happened and how to prevent it from happening over and over again in the future. With a sport as interesting and exciting as road racing, it should not be exempted from this scrutiny .

I'm a proponent of the proper screening of young athletes in competitive sports to reduce and eliminate tragic events from occurring for whatever the reason.

The article I shared raised the question of all possibilities of causes for this cardiovascular event.
Loyola University Health Systems article on hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

"Individuals who are conclusively diagnosed with cardiac diseases are usually told to avoid competitive sports. With hypertrophic cardiomyopathy there is no cure."


Pheidippides, under 20 years old, and the “first” Olympic marathoner in ancient Greece, who died after reaching his destination in 490 B.C.

Baltimore native Reggie Lewis, 27, a basketball player for the Boston Celtics, whose heart arrested (suddenly stopped beating) in the summer of 1993 during basketball practice.  Autopsy results showed he had an overly enlarged and thickened heart.

Ryan Shay, 28, a top-ranked U.S. marathon runner training for the Olympics, who suffered from cardiac arrest part way through the 2007 New York marathon.  Though the cause of death is still pending, Shay, who hailed from a prominent Michigan family of runners, had been diagnosed with a large heart at 14, and his brother had quit competitive sports after being diagnosed with arrhythmia.

Damien Nash, 24, a football player with the Denver Broncos, who died in 2007 of an undiagnosed heart problem after playing in a charity game to benefit a foundation named in his brother Darris’ honor.  Darris, a heart transplant recipient, had suffered from a cardiomyopathy that was not believed to be genetic.

Jason Collier, 28, an Atlanta Hawks football player who died suddenly in 2005 during the off-season and while on route to hospital, from what a medical examiner later ruled was a "sudden heart rhythm disturbance caused by an abnormally enlarged heart.”  Collier had twice been given EKGs, both of which had shown abnormalities, but no follow-up was ever recorded.

Thomas Herrion, 23, a San Francisco 49ers football player who in 2005 collapsed in the locker room, after suffering what appeared to be a heart stoppage.  Autopsy results confirmed a blocked artery, which experts ruled a result of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Ken Derminer, 17, who died suddenly in 2000 during college football practice.  The Ohio native’s parents also set up a foundation, Kids Endangered Now, or KEN for short, to promote awareness about sudden cardiac death among youth athletes.

Chad Butrum, 26, a football player from southern California who in 1994 died during a game from cardiac arrest, which was later diagnosed as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.  His mother, Arista, set up the Chad Foundation in his honor and to raise awareness about the condition.

Hank Gathers, 23, a basketball player at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, Calif., who collapsed on the court from cardiac arrest in 1990, dying in hospital shortly thereafter.  He had been treated for an abnormal heartbeat, but only at autopsy was it learned that he had an overly enlarged heart.

Andrew Helgeson, 18, was an all-star lacrosse player from Silver Spring, Md., who died suddenly from cardiac arrest in May 2005, a week before his high school graduation.  The precise cause of  Helgeson's heart trouble remains unknown.  In his honor in 2006, the State of Maryland enacted "Andrew's Law," which as a safety measure placed automated external defibrillators in all state high schools and at all school-sponsored sports events.


Domenico Fioravanti, 30, Olympic gold medalist in the 100- and 200-metre breaststroke at the 2000 Sydney Games, was diagnosed in 2004 during his native Italy’s annual screening for hypertrophic cardiomyopathies.  By Italian law, he had to withdraw from competitive sports and now has an implanted defibrillator.  Though, Fioravanti has been okayed by his cardiologist to pursue some active sport.

Nicholas Knapp, at 17, was a star recruit for Northwestern University’s basketball team in 1994, until he collapsed from cardiac arrest in the middle of a game.  Knapp was revived on the scene, and later, in hospital care, was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, after which he had a defibrillator implanted.

Sad.  Just really sad.



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