Ironman champion Dean Mercer dies in car crash

Simon Douch Roar Guru

By , Simon Douch is a Roar Guru


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    Veteran competitor Dean Mercer has died after a car crash. (AAP Image/Tony Bartlett)

    Former Australian Ironman Champion Dean Mercer has died in a car crash at Mermaid Waters on the Gold Coast.

    Mercer was rushed to Gold Coast University Hospital after having a medical episode at the wheel of his car.

    The former Ironman officially retired from professional sport in 2010 after an extremely successful career where he won two Australian Ironman titles in 1989 and 1995, five New South Wales championships, two Test of the Toughest titles and the 1997 World Ocean man series.

    Mercer grew up in Thirroul, an hour south of Sydney. He was involved with surf life saving for more than 30 years, having joined the local nippers club at just five years of age.

    He and his older brother Darren Mercer showed unique skills and endurance and quickly progressed through the age groups.

    Once the Ironman series secured its first major sponsorship, Mercer quit school at the age of 15 to focus on competition.

    Throughout his decorated career, Mercer continued his services as a surf life saver, and at one point, estimated to have saved hundreds of people from drowning at sea.

    In 2014 Mercer was included in the NSW Hall of Champions for his outstanding achievements alongside other sporting icons such as Dawn Fraser, Sir Jack Brabham and Don Bradman.

    Mercer leaves behind his wife Reen Mercer, who is also a former ironwoman, and his four sons.

    He was 47 years old.