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Olympic Triathlete Laurent Vidal Suffers Heart Attack

Photo: Delly Carr/ ITU
Photo: Delly Carr/ ITU

The French ITU triathlete, and two-time Olympian Laurent Vidal, suffered a heart attack while training yesterday. Vidal competes for France but lives and trains all over the world with his fiancee elite New Zealand  triathlete Andrea Hewitt.

According to the French newspaper Midi Libre, the 30-year-old complained of chest pain while swimming at the Fonquerne Sète pool, and went into cardiac arrest as he left the pool. He was airlifted to hospital in Montpellier. It has been reported from that Vidal was put into an artificial coma.

Vidal was 5th at the London Olympics in 2012, less than one minute behind Alistair Brownlee. As a consistent performer at the front of ITU races, Vidal last raced in New Plymouth in New Zealand in March, where he finished 10th. He was also sixth in the London Grand Final in September.

Fellow triathletes rallied round to offer their thoughts and prayers on social media.  Hewitt tweeted her appreciation for the outpouring of support:  “Thank you everyone for your kind words for Laurent. Your support means so much. Shocked and so worried! I am traveling to be by his side.” TMC wishes Vidal a speedy recovery.