FIFA World Cup

US sportswriter Grant Wahl died from aortic aneurysm – family

Reuters
US sportswriter Grant Wahl died from aortic aneurysm – family

LOVE FOR THE GAME. Grant Wahl is remembered as a 'true advocate' for football.

Grant Wahl Instagram page

Grant Wahl’s family says there’s ‘nothing nefarious about his death,’ days after the renowned sports journalist collapsed and died while covering a World Cup match

An aortic aneurysm caused the death of Grant Wahl, a renowned American sportswriter who collapsed and died last Friday while covering a World Cup match in Qatar, his widow said on Wednesday, December 14.

Dr. Celine Gounder cited an autopsy that was performed on her husband Wahl. He was 49.

“Grant died from the rupture of a slowly growing, undetected ascending aortic aneurysm with hemopericardium,” Grounder posted to her husband’s Substack page Wednesday morning.

“The chest pressure he experienced shortly before his death may have represented the initial symptoms. No amount of CPR or shocks would have saved him. His death was unrelated to COVID. His death was unrelated to vaccination status. There was nothing nefarious about his death.”

An aortic aneurysm is a balloon-like bulge in the aorta, the large artery that carries blood from the heart through the chest and torso, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website.

“First and foremost, on behalf of myself and our family, I want to express our deepest gratitude for the outpouring of support, love, and sympathy from around the world,” Gounder wrote.

Wahl’s brother, Eric Wahl, posted a video to Instagram on Friday in which he shared his belief that Grant Wahl “was killed.” On Tuesday, he told the New York Post he regretted that comment.

“I regret the video,” he said. “I was in shock, and I just had limited information to go on.

“I’m especially sorry to any people in the Muslim world that I offended. It was never my intention,” he said.

Grant Wahl’s body was returned to the United States on Monday, and Gounder said the autopsy was performed by the New York City Medical Examiner’s Office.

“Grant arrived home Monday, December 12, and this transition was handled with the utmost care and sensitivity,” Gounder wrote. “This was an international matter that required coordination from multiple agencies domestically and internationally, and there was full cooperation from everyone involved. Our sincere gratitude to everyone involved in repatriating Grant, in particular the White House, the US Department of State, FIFA, US Soccer and American Airlines.”

Grant Wahl collapsed at Lusail Iconic Stadium while covering the Argentina-Netherlands match early Saturday morning, local time. He was immediately tended to by emergency staff and transported to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

He had complained of feeling ill in the days preceding his death but said he tested negative for COVID.

“While the world knew Grant as a great journalist, we knew him as a man who approached the world with openness and love,” Gounder wrote. 

“Grant was an incredibly empathetic, dedicated, and loving husband, brother, uncle, and son who was our greatest teammate and fan. We will forever cherish the gift of his life.”

In late November, Wahl made news when he wrote that he was stopped at a World Cup stadium security screening point when he tried to enter a match while wearing a rainbow shirt in support of the LGBTQ community. He said security asked him to remove his shirt. Same-sex relations are illegal in Qatar.

Memorial services for Wahl are still being planned, his widow said. – Rappler.com

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