‘Heartbroken’: Gay rugby player Simon Dunn dies at age 35

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Gay Australian bobsledder and rugby player Simon Dunn has tragically died at the age of 35.

The longtime Sydney Convicts player was found dead in his Surry Hills apartment in Sydney on Saturday (January 21). NSW Police have commenced inquiries into the circumstances surrounding his death and are not treating it as suspicious, a spokesperson said.

In 2014, Simon became the first out gay man to represent their home country on Australia’s national bobsledding team. He retired from the sport in 2016.

Growing up in Sydney playing rugby, Simon Dunn played for the Sydney Convicts gay rugby team on and off for a decade. In 2022, the athlete played his fifth Bingham Cup in Ottawa, Canada.

‘Loved, adored and respected within our community’

The athlete’s management confirmed the 35-year-old’s death in a statement.

“Simon was loved, adored, and respected within our community worldwide,” the statement read.

“He will be missed, not just for his sportsmanship, not just for his valued views on our community and sport but mostly for being who he was. A genuine, all-round nice guy, who had time for everyone.

“He had a story for us all. But mostly he wanted to know your story, and who you are, and how he can help share what you mean to life.”

Simon Dunn was also a highly visible LGBTIQ advocate and ambassador for Australian LGBTIQ+ non-profits GiveOUT, the Bobby Goldsmith Foundation and Pride in Sport.

The athlete and advocate “was passionate about giving back to the community and volunteering,” his management said.

“He gave his time, and utilising his profile, to help multiple charities,” the statement read.

“Simon never said no to donating his time to any organisation who wanted to grow… helping them all to better understand their LGBTQIA+ employees and customers.”

The 35-year-old leaves behind his loving and supporting mother, sister and nephews and niece, Simon’s manager said.

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