Olympic champion Mark Lenzi passes away


Olympic champion Mark Lenzi passed away Monday, April 9. He was 43.

“USA Diving is truly saddened by the passing of Olympic champion Mark Lenzi. As an Olympic gold and bronze medalist, Mark was one of our country’s greatest divers, and he will be missed tremendously. On behalf of USA Diving and the entire diving community, I extend my deepest condolences to Mark’s family and friends,” said USA Diving Chairman Bob Rydze.

Lenzi won the gold medal in the 3-meter springboard competition at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona and won bronze on that same event at the 1996 Games in Atlanta. An eight-time national champion, Lenzi was also a two-time World Cup gold medalist. He was the first diver to score more than 100 points on a single dive. Lenzi was selected as USA Diving’s Athlete of the Year in 1991 and 1992.

Messages for Mark’s family may be left here.

34 thoughts on “Olympic champion Mark Lenzi passes away

  1. A true Champion lives forever. Thank you Mark for proving that hard work and great committment makes GOLD (and a side of bronze)

  2. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of you. Mark was amazaing diver and will never be forgotten. Sincerly, Lisa and Krista Walton Misson Viejo Nadadores Dive Team.

  3. I Knew Mark years ago, Didn’t know he was coaching at my Old Alma Matter …ECU, was so happy when I heard this. This is so unexpected and wish his Family the Best during this difficult time. I wish I could be there in person. From Florida we are thinking of him!

  4. Mark Lenzi inspired divers across the world, not just in America. His loss today is felt throughout the diving community in Canada too. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife and family, and with our American friends. A great champion for all. RIP Mark.

  5. May God’s peace comfort Mark’s family, friends, fellow divers and all who mourn his death. May his memory inspire us to “go for the Gold” in our own lives.

  6. Mark’s influence knows no boundaries, he has influenced us all. We may be four thousand miles away but he will always be close to our hearts. God speed.

  7. It was sheer joy to watch Mark dive. The sadness of his death is felt by all his fans and all those who love the Olympic spirit, which Mark embodied. Our hearts and thoughts go out to Mark’s family and friends.

  8. I knew Mark when he wrestled at Stafford and turned to diving. He was an amazing wrestler and it’s no wonder he was a gold medalist. His drive and determination was unmatched! He was such a great person and friend. We will miss him very much.

  9. I am just your typical American Olympics fan. I was very saddened to read the news this morning about Mark Lenzi’s passing. I remember watching Mark dive in the Olympics just like it was yesterday, even though it was many years ago. I can still picture his big, “aw-shucks” smile and squeezing his towel after each dive, as he climbed up the leaderboard. I think I remember his proud father in the stands, cheering him on. I was real happy and excited for him when he won his Olympic medals on the world’s greatest stage. He brought Olympic fans and Americans a lot of pride and joy. As the late Steve Jobs might say, Mark Lenzi “made a dent in the Universe.” I send my sincere condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Lenzi.

  10. I am truly sadden at such a loss only watched him briefly, it hurts when someone who does so much to contribute to this world and taken so young,words cannot express my greif.
    Mavis

  11. Mark was a very kind and fun loving young man with a great sense of humor. He demonstrated to us all how powerful it is to have the combination of a dream with relentless determination. He will be missed tremendously. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.

  12. My heart felt so heavy when I read this about Mark Lenzi. I watch the olympics and marvel at the talent these young athletes demonstrate. The God above has a greater need for Mark as I’m told. Hopefully, someday I’ll truly understand why one is taken so young and with so much to offer this world.I wish peace within the family and all those that love Mark…I am so sad. What a wonderful smart handsome talent and I’m sure a loving husband. To Mark’s Family my deepest sympathy.

  13. I didn’t know Mark well, we only met 3 times. He was very friendly and humble. He never gave you the impression that he knew what a STUD he was. The same way Greg inspired Mark to be great, Mark will continue inspiring others. His story is truly amazing and he will be sorely missed.

  14. Mark & I worked together many years ago in Raleigh, NC. He was always smiling and told the best jokes! Mark will be truely missed.

  15. My husband, Jamie, and I knew Mark when he dove at Indiana and we dove at Iowa. I also had the privilege to watch him dive at the Atlanta Olympic Games. Mark was truly a class act who brought dignity and class to the sport of diving. He was also a really nice guy. Having lost my father two weeks ago, I know how difficult this will be for all of his friends and family. No words can ease their grief. All I can say is he will be missed and not ever forgotten.

  16. Sincere condolences to the Lenzi family. Mark was an amazing athlete and person, and he will be missed.

  17. I am so sad to hear of Mark’s passing. We were college sweethearts and I had the honor of witnessing Mark’s rise to fame. I was there as he lived his dreams of making the US Team, setting world records, and eventually capturing the Gold medal in the Olympics. I will always remember his sparkling blue eyes, devilish smile, and hearty laughter. Although our lives took different paths, he was a dear and loyal friend. I work at IU in the HPER where he used to train and we spent so much time together…it was incredibly difficult to enter the building as I could remember him here like it was yesterday. I stood in front of Royer Pool and cried remembering the hours he spent there perfecting his dives. My heartfelt sympathy to his wife and family. I can’t imagine how difficult this time is for you. Mark was a true champion and he will always be remembered that way.

  18. I met Mark when the US Pentathlon team was housed next to the US divers in the 92 Barcelona Olympic village. To this day I remember Mark’s fun-loving and confident attitude. He passed this on to all who had the privledge to meet him. USA Pentathlon’s thoughts and prayers are with Mark, his family and the diving community.

  19. I grew up with Mark as a pool rat at our summer pool in Fredericksburg. We all admired his natural skill, daredevil attitude and fun-loving spirit. Now, as a swimming coach, I most appreciate his unbridled determination and pure love of sport. So many athletes are paralyzed by fear of failure that they lose sight of the reason they started competing in the first place. Mark knew no fear at the pool and always shared his love of competition. What an example for all athletes.

  20. So sorry to hear of Mark’s passing, much too young. My sympathy to his family and friends. I worked with him, Kent Ferguson and Julie Ovenhouse immediately after the 1992 Olympic Games when they appeared on behalf of Moen Incorporated to meet customers and sign autographs at the National Hardware Show in Chicago (I was PR rep for Moen at the time). All of them were a pleasure to work with; they represented Moen and USA Diving well, signing autographs tirelessly. In fact, the photo of Mark posted on this site was taken in Chicago just prior to the Hardware Show; we used prints of this for his autographs. Seems like yesterday …

  21. All of us that knew Mark personally as a diver, knew he was a proud red blooded American that wasn’t ashamed of having a hairy chest (as he puts it). Mark never shied away from telling you what he thought. He was a confident person that knew what he wanted. He lived life to the fullest and never looked back. He was an amazing and fierce competitor.
    As a sophomore in college he came to train with us and I hated training with him. He got upset if we baulked, didn’t try our best and I don’t think he understood why anyone would be afraid of a dive. What a great teammate he was. Everyone needs a Mark Lenzi to train with.
    When I spoke with him last, after many years of not seeing him, he was a gentle soft teddy bear. You’ll be missed…..

  22. Mark displayed the desire of a champion the first time that I met him. All my years diving with Hobie I cherish the memories of Mark and Hobie pushing each other to be the best! Two legends focused on one goal and letting nothing stand between them and success. Thank you for the lesson, the laughs and the memories Mark! You made us all better!

  23. I miss Mark so much! We were the two proud Italians/Americans divers. In fact, we called each other by the Don’s. Mark was Don L and I was Don O. He has helped me with my divorce. He would called me every now and then just to check on me because it is Don L!! Italians protect each other. Lol. I wish I could have protected Mark but his loss has crushed me. Mark is a great man and live his life fully! He always will be remember!

  24. Mark is a “great diver, coach, and friend.” I hate using the past tense of “was” because what he did, how he achieved what he did, and his perseverance, will always live in the hearts of all. Always helpful. Always with a good word. A very positive individual. A great smile. Never turned away from you,and never gave up. There isn’t enough room or space to describe Mark Lenzi. All I can say “is that he’s one of the best and always will be!” God Bless you brother. Hope to see you again some day…” GT3

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