Mark Lenzi, who won the Olympic gold medal on the three meter springboard in Barcelona in 1992, has died. In addition to his memorable win in the Olympics, Lenzi was a two-time NCAA champion on the one meter board while at IU. It's not entirely clear what led to Lenzi's death, but this blog entry from a Fredericksburg, Virginia newspaper suggests that Lenzi had been hospitalized after a series of fainting spells and dangerously low blood pressure. Lenzi returned to IU briefly in the 2000s as an administrative assistant to the swimming and diving program.
A number of IU alumni have won individual golds in swimming and diving, particularly in the Doc Counsilman glory days of the 1960s and 1970s, when IU won six consecutive team NCAA championships, but Lenzi, who was coached in college and for the Olympics by IU legend Hobie Billingsley, is IU's most recent individual gold medalist. Lenzi retired following the 1992 Olympics, but returned to competition soon thereafter and won the bronze in Atlanta in 1996.
A few years ago, Lenzi spoke to IUhoosiers.com about what his IU ties meant to him:
My time at Indiana is very special to me. I have so many wonderful memories! It is difficult to pick one instance that stands out more than any other. Wearing the cream and crimson, as well as the stars and stripes, made me very proud. I loved competing for Indiana and the United States. If I had to pick a moment that really stands out for me then it would be one that was very recent. Being inducted into the Indiana Hall of Fame a few years ago was one of my proudest moments. I dreamed about it when I first arrived on campus and saw all of the legends in Assembly Hall. Little did I know that one day I would have the honor of being included with this very prestigious group. I was so overcome with emotion at the ceremony that I almost broke down.
Rest in peace, Mark.