Simon Dunn, Australia’s first gay bobsledder and footy star, dies suddenly at 35

Australia’s first openly gay luge player and Sydney Convicts rugby club representative Simon Dunn has died suddenly, shocking the country’s sporting, arts and LGBTIAQ+ communities.

Police and their agent Ruby Rose Management confirmed the death of the 35-year-old, who broke new ground in both sports.

“At around 10am on Saturday, January 21, 2023, police were called to a unit on Crown Street, Surry Hills, following reports that the body of a male had been found inside,” police said. New South Wales in a statement.

Dunn was the first openly gay man to represent Australia in luge and was aiming to compete in the 2022 Winter Olympics before injury ended his career.

Dunn was the first openly gay man to represent Australia in luge and was aiming to compete in the 2022 Winter Olympics before injury ended his career.

Dunn was also a talented rugby player and competed with the Sydney Convicts, the city's only gay rugby club.

Dunn was also a talented rugby player and competed with the Sydney Convicts, the city's only gay rugby club.

Dunn was also a talented rugby player and competed with the Sydney Convicts, the city’s only gay rugby club.

Dunn traveled to Canada for work and found a new love in bobsledding, representing Australia at the North American Cup.

Ultimately, he would link up with the Convicts, Australia’s first gay rugby team to compete in the Sydney Suburban Rugby Union championship, and the Kings Cross Steelers in London.

In 2021, Dunn attempted a return to bobsledding and announced his plans to represent Australia at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, only to suffer a serious biceps injury forcing him to retire early.

His efforts would land him nominations for the Australian LGBTI Awards Sports Personality of the Year in both 2018 and 2019.

Along with his sports accolades, Dunn was also known for his community work, his advocacy for LGBTIAQ+, and his work in the arts.

Dunn touched many lives in the community and tributes poured in after his shocking death at age 35.

Dunn touched many lives in the community and tributes poured in after his shocking death at age 35.

Dunn touched many lives in the community and tributes poured in after his shocking death at age 35.

He also called out former Wallaby Israel Folau on Sky News for his controversial comments that all gay people go to hell.

‘There is still homophobia in sport. It’s a culture that’s been created and integrated over decades and I think we’re still at the end of that with the work we need to do to end it,” Dunn said at the time.

‘Rugby is a more tolerant sport, but most negative comments [is] of football fans.’

Dunn also garnered media attention for kissing her then partner after the Sydney Convicts won their grand final.

We had won the league and my partner Félix was still playing. After the game I went up to him to kiss him to celebrate, which most athletes do with their partners when they win, ”he said at the time.

‘One of the teammates took a picture of that. So I posted it thinking it’s a nice photo, I could use my profile there are gay athletes out there. I then started retweeting it in response to the lack of response from the Australian Rugby Union regarding Israel Folau.

Dunn had also previously spoken openly about her struggles, with her sexuality, mental health, and coping with injuries.

Dunn used his profile to advocate for the LGBTIAQ+ community and was outspoken against former Wallaby Israel Folau and his homophobic post on social media.

Dunn used his profile to advocate for the LGBTIAQ+ community and was outspoken against former Wallaby Israel Folau and his homophobic post on social media.

Dunn used his profile to advocate for the LGBTIAQ+ community and was outspoken against former Wallaby Israel Folau and his homophobic post on social media.

Tributes are flowing for the much-loved athlete, friend, family member and LGBTIAQ+ advocate.

“It is totally heartbreaking to hear the sad news of Simon’s passing at the age of 35,” wrote Paul Flanigan.

‘My thoughts and deepest condolences are with his family and those closest to him. He will be missed in so many ways. A genuine, well rounded and nice guy who had time for everyone.

“True sportsman and for valuable insights into the LGBTQ+ community and passionate about giving back to the community.”

DJ and drag performer Kitty Glitter also posted a moving tribute.

“I met him as a lovable teenager and watched him blossom into a beautiful man and talented standout athlete. I am in shock and heartbroken… We all love [him] expensive,” he wrote.

“Our community has lost one of the most genuinely caring boyfriends the world has been blessed with. My heart goes out to all of Simon’s family and friends. His loving energy and his spirit will always live through us.’

Dunn was a keen athlete who wanted to make a difference in the world and he leaves a huge void for everyone he touched in his life.

Dunn was a keen athlete who wanted to make a difference in the world and he leaves a huge void for everyone he touched in his life.

Dunn was a keen athlete who wanted to make a difference in the world and he leaves a huge void for everyone he touched in his life.

Dunn had also recently shared a social media post about the end of a long-term relationship.

“As we just celebrated our fifth anniversary, it became apparent that our goals and journeys had changed,” he posted.

‘For me, my passion will always be working for my community and advocacy organizations, as well as exploring other ways I can contribute.

“After a difficult year of personal loss, it became clear that our time together was coming to an end and what we were looking for in life and in relationships had evolved.

I give him credit as it takes true love to know when to let someone live their best life, which we have decided to do. Hereinafter x.’

Dunn went public with his mental health issues following the biceps injury that ended his bobsled race, sharing the pain of lying in a hospital bed and questioning whether he was a “failure.”

Trust me, the recovery was long and painful. Unable to work, insurance companies find any excuse not to help,” she posted.

‘I got into some pretty low places. I have lost count of the times I have referred to myself as a ‘failure’ or questioned my entire career.

‘I would find myself unable to get out of bed, what was the point? However, I have not asked a doctor for help yet.

‘Whether out of sheer stupidity or thinking it wasn’t ‘manly’ to ask for help, deep down I knew it was exactly what I needed.

“I will always be grateful for those close to me during this time, however my support network carried the brunt of what I was going through, when I should have asked for help.”

For help in a crisis, call 000. If you or someone you know needs help, you can contact Lifeline 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636.

RUBY ROSE MANAGEMENT STATEMENT ON SIMON DUNN

Dunn will be missed by both the sport and the LGBTIAQ+ communities, where he touched many lives and paved the way for other gay athletes.

Dunn will be missed by both the sport and the LGBTIAQ+ communities, where he touched many lives and paved the way for other gay athletes.

Dunn will be missed by both the sport and the LGBTIAQ+ communities, where he touched many lives and paved the way for other gay athletes.

Ruby Rose Management has the unenviable task of confirming the passing of 35-year-old Simon Dunn.

Loved by family and friends, adored by fans, media and social platforms around the world, our Simon Dunn has passed away leaving behind an incredible legacy.

Representing Australia in Bobsleigh, LGBTIAQ+ Rugby Union both here in Australia and abroad, as well as being there for every LBGTIAQ+ person in the media – Simon was loved, adored and respected within our community around the world.

Simon was passionate about giving back to the community and volunteering, giving his time and using his profile to help multiple charities. Like all great ambassadors, he had favorites of his, which included the Bobby Goldsmith Foundation, Award Day and Pride in Sport.

Simon never said ‘NO’ to donating his time to any organization that wanted to increase Woolworths’ Diversity & Inclusion footprint at Lion, helping them all better understand their LGBTQIA+ employees and customers.

Simon represented all of us, always saying ‘I’m not the spokesperson, I’m just a gay white man telling you my experiences and the experiences of those I’ve listened and learned from. Sharing these stories gives us all an appreciation of what has gotten us to where we are today.

The face of World Gay Uncles Day, he has left his loving and supportive mother, sister and nephews and niece the place he would go when he wanted a piece of reality, or just peace in his reality.

Simon will be missed, not just for his sportsmanship, not just for his valuable insights into our community and the sport, but primarily for being who he was, a genuine, likeable guy, who had time for everyone.

He had a story for all of us, but most of all he wanted to know your story, who you are, and how it can help share what you mean to life.

ok simon dunn

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