American bobsleigh Olympian Pavle Jovanovic dies at 43

Tributes flooding in from fellow bobsleigh athletes 

By ZK Goh ·

Pavle Jovanovic, an Olympian who competed in bobsleigh at the Torino 2006 Games for the United States, has died aged 43.

The national federation, USA Bobsled and Skeleton, announced the news in a statement on Saturday night, saying Jovanovic passed away last Sunday (3 May) after taking his own life.

"The winter sports community has suffered a tragic loss," said the federation's CEO Aron McGuire.

McGuire, who competed with Jovanovic, added: "Pavle’s impact on each of us will be remembered and celebrated."

Brakeman Pavle Jovanovic (at rear) and pilot Todd Hays (front) of Team USA-1 compete at the Torino 2006 Olympic Winter Games. (REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch)

Jovanovic missed the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City as he was serving a suspension for a banned steroid, which he said he took unknowingly.

Two years later, he won a bronze medal at the World Championships, then at the 2006 Games, he finished seventh in both the two-man and four-man teams.

In 2005, he had pushed for Steven Holcomb, who died in May 2017.

Tributes have flooded in from fellow bobsleigh athletes.

Elana Meyers Taylor said: "I only was a teammate with him for a short period of time, but he showed me what it meant to be an elite athlete. The [USA Bobsled and Skeleton federation] lost another great. RIP Pavle."

And Olympic champion Steven Mesler called Jovanovic his "personal legend".