Australian Paralympic snowboarder Matthew Robinson has died after suffering cardiac arrest during a return trip to Melbourne. Robinson had sustained injuries during a World Cup event in Spain last week.
Eurosport provided word of his passing:
The Australian Olympic team announce that para-snowboarder Matthew Robinson has died as a result of a crash.— Eurosport.com EN (@EurosportCom_EN) February 21, 2014
The Australian Olympic Team sent along its sympathies to Robinson's family and friends:
We are deeply saddened today to learn of the passing of para-snowboarder Matthew Robinson— AUS Olympic Team (@AUSOlympicTeam) February 21, 2014
We send our deepest sympathy to Matthew Robinson's family & friends. Our thoughts are with you at this very sad time— AUS Olympic Team (@AUSOlympicTeam) February 21, 2014
David Sygall of The Sydney Morning Herald reports Robinson was on an air ambulance that stopped in Kuwait to refuel before finishing the trip from Barcelona to Melbourne. The para-snowboarder then went into cardiac arrest and could not be revived.
Australia's Paralympic Committee also issued a statement: "Our thoughts and prayers are with Matthew's parents, his fiancee, his family and his teammates. Our immediate concern is to do everything possible to support them at this extremely sad and difficult time."
The report notes Robinson originally suffered injuries to his neck and spine during the World Cup finals event in Spain. Medical officials had given him clearance to travel back to Australia to continue his recovery.
Further information from the BBC states Robinson had undergone surgery for his injuries. He was responsive after waking up the next day and remained in the intensive care unit in a Spanish hospital for eight days during the initial portion of his recovery.
Robinson was a star in the para-snowboarding world. He was leading the IPCAS World Cup rankings for athletes with upper-limb classification. The BBC notes he wouldn't have been eligible for this year's Games, however, as they are limited in the discipline to those with lower-limb impairments only.
The International Paralympic Committee also sent along its condolences following the tragedy. The committee's president, Sir Philip Craven, called Robinson a “world class and extremely popular athlete” as a part of his comments:
Matthew was a world class and extremely popular athlete, a fact underlined by the vast number of support messages he received from around the world following last week's accident. He sustained his injuries doing the sport he loved most.
The IPC and whole of the Paralympic Movement are in deep mourning at his passing. The Movement is a close knit family and he will be sadly missed by all.
Robinson was 28.