South Africa's heart is aching. My heart is aching. On Thursday afternoon, 3 January 2013, Burry Stander, South African mountain biking icon, was killed in a hit and run incident in Shelly Beach, South Africa. He was only 25 years old.
In 2009 Burry won the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup u/23 men's cross country title. He went on to win the ABSA Cape Epic with team mate Cristoph Sauser in both 2011 and 2012, and at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games held in London, he finished 5th in the men's cross country mountain biking event. An outstanding sportsman indeed.
Burry's death shook me to the core. My heart breaks for his family, who lost a son. For his beautiful, young wife who lost her soul mate and now has to face life as a widow. How can we even begin to comprehend? His death also made me realize once again that life is short - we need to live it. We need to say what needs to be said. And mean it. Every single moment spent with loved ones is a gift - it can never, ever be taken for granted.
Bike rides in memory of Burry are being held across South Africa, including here in Bloemfontein, where we live. About 650 cyclists gathered in Bloemfontein today to pay their final respects to Burry, as well as focus the attention on road safety for runners and cyclists in South Africa. It's an issue that needs to be addressed - urgently. It's our loved ones out there on the roads.
Ride for Burry, Bloemfontein.
Please be safe out there.
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