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75-year-old USA Triathlon champ dies in Lake Erie during competition

August 11, 2018

75-year-old USA Triathlon champ dies in Lake Erie during competition

CLEVELAND, Ohio — A 75-year-old Oklahoma man died Saturday in Lake Erie while competing in the USA Triathlon, officials said. 

Jim Hix, 75, of Claremore, Oklahoma was competing in the swimming portion of the Olympic-Distance race at the USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships, according to a statement from the USA Triathlon.

The U.S. Coast Guard pulled Hix from Lake Erie about 8 a.m. The Coast Guard said he was unconscious at the time and that he remained unconscious until they handed him off to medics.

He was taken to an area hospital, where he died.

“Our sport lost a member of its beloved community and we extend our heartfelt condolences to Jim’s wife, Ann, his family and friends,” USA Triathlon CEO Rocky Harris said in a statement. “As one of the nation’s top multisport athletes in his age group, Jim and USA Triathlon shared a close relationship and his passing is particularly difficult.”

Hix was the 2017 USA Triathlon Duathlon National Champion in the men’s 75 to 79 age group and he represented the U.S. at the ITU Age Group World Championships as a member of Team USA, the statement said.

USA Triathlon said it will not make any further comment out of respect for Hix’s family. 

More than 5,000 athletes will compete in the two-day event that includes Olympic-Distance National Championships on Saturday. Athletes compete in a 1,500-meter swim, 40-kilometer bike and 10-kilometer run.

The youngest athlete on the start list this weekend is 14 years old, and the oldest is 88.

The championships on Sunday features a 750-meter swim, 20k bike and 5k run.

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