British Olympic swimmer and longtime coach Clive Rushton has passed away from cancer at the age of 69.
Rushton was a 1972 Olympian for Great Britain, competing in the 100 meter backstroke, where he made the semifinals. Rushton would go on to a long career coaching and mentoring younger swimmers. Never losing his passion for the sport, Rushton stayed regularly engaged with swimming and contributed regularly to our comment section.
In December 2016, Rushton was diagnosed with a tumor in his neck that crushed vertebrae, leaving him in extreme pain. An avid blogger, Rushton chronicled the entire experience online, starting with this post retelling the discovery of the tumor.
Rushton would go on to narrate his entire experience from December until late April. You can find his full series of blog posts here, which accurately highlight Rushton’s wit and grace through adversity. In his most recent post, dated April 22, Rushton wrote that he had lost 80 kg (about 176 lbs) through chemotherapy.
He would eventually succumb to the cancer on Sunday, June 11th. The British swimming federation mourned the loss of Rushton on social media this morning:
British Swimming is saddened to learn of the passing of former GB swimmer & coach Clive Rushton. Our thoughts are with his family & friends. pic.twitter.com/ZmTClSdyM6
— British Swimming (@britishswimming) June 12, 2017
Rushton was 69 years old and had most recently lived in Bali, Indonesia. In his final blog post, Rushton said he wasn’t afraid of death, but still wanted to accomplish more in his life. Based on the outpouring of grief and love on social media at the news of his passing, though, it’s clear that what Rushton was able to accomplish in life and death had a truly profound impact on the people around him.