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.