As the world mourns the death of musician Joey Feek who lost her battle to cervical cancer and passed away on Friday, perhaps most of us did not pay attention to another personality who also lost her battle against cancer on Wednesday, March 2, 2016.
We are talking about Australian rower and Olympic silver medalist Sarah Tait. Sarah, who participated and won the silver medal as a rower for Australia at the London 2012 Olympics, died on Wednesday after a long battle with cervical cancer, her husband Bill Tait confirmed. She was just 33 years old and was a mother to two young children, Yahoo reports
“The Tait and Outhwaite families are sad to inform of the peaceful passing of Sarah Tait after a long and hard-fought battle with cancer,” her husband, Bill Tait, said.
“The families are enormously proud of the positive impact Sarah has made on so many throughout her life, and know she will be dearly missed.” he further added.
Sarah fought a three-year-long battle with cervical cancer. According to a statement issued by Rowing Australia, Sarah was diagnosed with cervical cancer following the birth of her second child, Luca, in March 2013. As the cancer took its toll on her, Sarah moved away from competitive rowing to battle the disease. However, the captain of the women’s rowing team in the last two Olympics did not make it.
The statement on its official Facebook page read.
“We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Sarah Tait. Sarah had been battling cervical cancer since March 2013, and in February 2014 made the decision to step away from rowing to battle the disease, a battle she sadly lost on 3 March 2016. The thoughts and prayers of the whole rowing family and wider community is with Bill and the entire Tait and Outhwaite families at this difficult time.”
Sarah was born Sarah Anne Outhwaite, on January 23, 1983, in Perth. She started rowing at the age of 9 and went on to represent her country at the highest level of the sport. She first represented Australia back in 2000 at the World Rowing Junior Championships in Zagreb, Croatia. She went on to represent her country in the 2004, 2008, and the 2012 Olympics. Her highest achievement was winning the silver medal along with teammate Kate Hornsey in the Women’s Pair. Sarah and her teammate were coached by Bill, her husband.
When Sarah retired in 2014, following the detection of cervical cancer, she reaffirmed that her greatest achievement was winning the silver medal at London 2012 Olympics.
“Without a doubt, my greatest achievement has to have been combining with Kate and our coach, Bill, to take home that silver medal for my country in the London 2012 Olympics. Bill has been a great support and in last eight years has made the most amazing difference to my rowing career, and my life, both as my husband and my coach.”
Rowing Australia President Rob Scott says,
“Sarah represented Australia with distinction and pride and she was the most fantastic role model to all our athletes, both past and present. She was one of the most determined and passionate rowers in our sport and she will be deeply missed by everyone in the rowing community. The entire Australian rowing community sends its thoughts and best wishes to Bill, the children and Sarah’s family at this tragic time.”
Australian Rowing Team Head Coach Chris O’Brien adds,
“Sarah has been, and will continue to be, an inspiration to many Australian rowers. She was a strong role model to many young athletes but was particularly influential with our emerging female athletes. Sarah was one of rowing’s most successful and impressive female athletes who has left a permanent mark on our sport. I was personally inspired by Sarah’s pursuit of success in sport and life. She will be sadly missed.”
Sarah’s first child, born in 2009, is Leila, and the second, Luca, was born in 2013. She is survived by both her children, husband Bill, and parents Simon and Barbara.
The deaths of two famous personalities in the span of a few days once again shows how cervical cancer remains a serious threat to women. Cervical cancer as of today is the fourth-most common cause of death from cancer in women, and in 2012, an estimated 528,000 cases of cervical cancer occurred, with 266,000 deaths being reported.
(AP Photo/Eric Feferberg, Pool)