Passages: Ian Matos, Brazilian Olympic Diver, Age 32


Passages: Ian Matos, Brazilian Olympic Diver, Age 32

Ian Matos, a Brazilian diver who competed at the 2016 Rio Olympics, has died after a lung infection. Matos was 32 years old.

News of Matos’ death was confirmed by the Brazilian Olympic Committee on Dec. 21.


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“Team Brasil thanks you for all your contribution to the evolution of the sport,” the organization wrote on Twitter. “Our sincere feelings to family and friends.”

Matos finished eighth in the Rio Olympics in 2016, pairing with Luiz Outerelo in the men’s 3-meter synchronized event. He hails from Muana in the state of Para, a rural state in the north of the country around the lower Amazon River.

His first major international event came in 2010 at the South American Games in Medellin, Colombia. He won bronze medals in the 1-meter springboard, 3-meter springboard and 3-meter synchro (with Rio Machado). He also competed at the 2019 Pan American Games (finishing as high as seventh in the 3-meter springboard). He and Cesar Castro finished fourth in the 3-meter synchro at both the 2011 and 2015 Pan Am Games.

Castro posted a remembrance of Matos on his Instagram page.


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Matos has battled an infection that began in his throat and spread to his lungs. He had been fighting the infection for the last two months, according to reports.

Matos came out as gay in 2014, prior to his Olympic berth. The decision was a risky one, but Matos’ move to city life in Rio to pursue his diving aspirations increased his urgency to live authentically. The decision paid off with his ability to parlay the strong 2015 Pan Ams performance into an Olympic berth the following summer.