French pole-vaulter Quinon dead in apparent suicide

NICE, (Reuters) –  Former French pole-vaulter Pierre Quinon, who won the gold  medal at the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984, has died in an  apparent suicide, the French Athletics Federation said on  Thursday.

Quinon, who was 49 and known to suffer from depression, fell  from a window late on Wednesday on the Mediterranean island of  Hyeres.

He did not leave a suicide note and police in nearby Toulon  were investigating.

“It is with great sadness and emotion that the French  Athletics Federation and the entire family of French athletics  has learned of the death yesterday evening, at the age of 49  years, of Pierre Quinon, Olympic pole-vault champion in 1984 in  Los Angeles and world record holder in 1983 with 5.82 metres,”  the Federation said in a statement.

“The Federation addresses its sincere condolances to his  family and those close to him.”

French Sports Minister Chantal Jouanno also sent “sad  condolances” in a statement.

Quinon became the first Frenchman to win the Olympic pole  vault gold when he triumphed in Los Angeles, a year after  setting a new world record with a leap of 5.82 metres.

A year later, in July 1985, he stretched his personal best  to 5.90 metres, just a few centimetres behind the then-world  record.

He retired in the early 1990s and became a chef at a  Mediterranean restaurant.

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