By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
Snell was a distance runner for New Zealand. He passed away in his residence in Dallas, Texas on Thursday.
According to New Zealand Herald, sports historian and friend Ron Palenski said that he had heart problems in recent years.
“It is very sad news, a grievous loss for New Zealand,” Palenski said. “In terms of track and field, he is probably the greatest athlete New Zealand has had.”
He passed away just days away from his 81st birthday. He would have turned 81 on Tuesday, December 17th.
Snell was one of New Zealand’s famous Olympians. He won three Olympic gold medals.
He is the only mail since 1920 to have won both the 800-meter and 1,500-meter races at the same Olympics. Snell accomplished this feat in 1964.
“It is with deep sadness that we announce the death in Dallas of Peter Snell, one of New Zealand’s greatest athletes,” the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame said. “A three-time Olympic champion and world record-holder, he died while asleep at his home in Dallas around noon on Thursday, Dallas time. He had been looking forward to his 81st birthday on Tuesday. He had had a recent history of heart trouble and a few weeks ago had to call off a trip to Monaco for a dinner honoring world mile record-holders.
“But I want people to know that he was living his life. He was not bed-ridden. He was going to cook a roast for dinner the night he died and had talked to Miki [his wife] about the possibility of playing table tennis that night. They were intending to go shopping and while Miki got ready to go out, Peter nodded off. She could not wake him and paramedics could not revive him.”