The world of sports is often full of joy.
Sports serve as a distraction from the monotony and struggles that often come with what we deem the “real world.”
But sadly, the world of sports can also sometimes be fill with tragedy, and that was the case on Friday morning.
Following a crash during the fifth stage of the annual Tour de Suisse, 26-year-old Swiss cyclist Gino Mader of team Bahrain Victorious has sadly passed away.
Mader was descending having just climbed a mountain during the race when he and one other rider crashed off the side of a ravine. Mader fell into a drainage area and needed to be resuscitated on site. He was then airlifted to a local hospital, but sadly succumb to his injuries.
The other rider, 21-year-old American Magnus Sheffield, was diagnosed with a concussion but was in stable condition.
“Gino was an extraordinary athlete, an example of determination, a valued member of our team and the whole cycling community. His talent, dedication, and passion for the sport has inspired us all,” Mader’s team said in a statement.
“Managing Director Milan Erzen commented this morning:” ‘We are devastated by the loss of our exceptional cyclist, Gino Mäder. His talent, dedication, and enthusiasm were an inspiration to us all. Not only was he an extremely talented cyclist, but a great person off the bike. We extend our deepest condolences to his family and loved ones, and our thoughts are with them during this difficult time. Bahrain Victorious will race in his honour, keeping his memory on every road we race. We are determined to show the spirit and passion Gino displayed, and he will always remain an integral part of our team.'”
Members of the cycling community quickly flooded the internet with tributes.
— Tadej Pogačar (@TamauPogi) June 16, 2023
I can't believe this… 😭
Most of the time, I love cycling. Today, I hate this sport. 💔
My thoughts are with Gino's family and friends. 🙏 https://t.co/jww99TULJt
— Benji Naesen (@BenjiNaesen) June 16, 2023
Devastated by the news. My heart and strength is with Gino’s family, friends, teammates…
May you rest in peace Gino 💫❤️ https://t.co/pcC5dy9IL3
— Remco Evenepoel (@EvenepoelRemco) June 16, 2023
I can’t believe what I’m reading. Such a sad sad day. Thoughts with everyone who knew and loved Gino. https://t.co/kjh2jC1xP6
— Geraint Thomas (@GeraintThomas86) June 16, 2023
Mader was passionate about climate activism. And fans quickly began flooding a charity that plants trees in Africa, Justdiggit, which he vocally supported.
Perhaps, in memory of Gino Mäder, it would be nice to donate towards Justdiggit.
— robyn (@robynjournalist) June 16, 2023
This is a really lovely idea.
Gino Mäder was really passionate about the environment and many times used his platform as a professional cyclist to raise money for environmental causes. https://t.co/qb4NCdh0te
— Sadhbh O'Shea (@SadhbhOS) June 16, 2023
This is one of the best ways we can honour Gino, and one in which we can do more than just words. I share it https://t.co/QNQqaIgSJd
— Rúben Silva (@EchelonsHub) June 16, 2023
It’s a sobering reminder of the reality and danger of the sports we love.