How Did Kenneth To Die? New Details About The Tragic Death Of The Olympic Swimmer At 26

Photo: Instagram
How Did Kenneth To Die? New Details About The Tragic Death Of The Olympic Swimmer At 26

Sad news from the world of Olympic sports today. Swimmer Kenneth To has passed away. He was just 26 years old. The swimmer from Hong Kong was training in Florida when he died suddenly. Kenneth was taking part in a three-month training program in Florida when he began to feel unwell. He was a rising star in the swimming world and hoped to compete in the 2020 Olympics. How did Kenneth To die?

1. 2010 Youth Olympics

Kenneth To was born July 7, 1992 in Hong Kong. When he was two, his family moved to Australia. He started swimming at age five. He swam the individual medley, freestyle, butterfly, and breaststroke. To had a very successful junior career, winning medals at the 2008 Commonwealth Youth Games and at the 2009 Australian Youth Olympic Festival in Sydney. He was a star of the 2010 Youth Olympics where he won six medals. He was the overall male winner of the 2012 FINA Swimming World Cup and a silver medalist at the 2013 World Championships in Barcelona. He held 16 national Hong Kong swimming records. He swam for both the Australian and Hong Kong national teams.

2. He was training in Florida

The Hong Kong Sports Institute released a statement on Tuesday stating that: "To felt unwell at a training session and was taken to [the] hospital where sadly, he passed away. He was extremely popular and loved by his team mates and competitors. Kenneth was known as a truly exceptional person, warm, funny and kind. His sudden passing is a huge loss to local sports." Kenneth was in Florida for a three month training camp with the Gator Swim Club at the University of Florida where swimmers including Ryan Lochte had trained in the past. A cause of death has not yet been released. 

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3. He was training for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Kenneth was working towards the goal of competing in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. He would have been swimming for the Hong Kong national team. He switched his nationality from Australia to Hong Kong in 2016.

4. Recent wins

In December 2018, Kenneth competed in the world short course championships in China. He placed sixth in the 100-meter medley. That was his first individual final at a major championship in six years. The Switzerland-based world governing body of swimmin FINA said it reacted to To's death with "immense sadness." "Owner of many Hong Kong national swimming records, Kenneth To was a reference and example for the youth in the territory.”

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5. His girlfriend

Kenneth recently celebrated his three year anniversary with his gilfriend Kelly. In September he captioned a photo of Kelly with "3 years and counting! Couldn't be happier."

Amy Lamare is a Los Angeles based freelance writer covering entertainment, pop culture, beauty, fashion, fitness, technology, and the intersection of technology, business, and philanthropy. She is deeply devoted to her chocolate Labrador and an avid long distance runner. You can find her on Instagram and Facebook.