Jacques Freitag, Olympics

Ex-Olympics Star Dead With Gunshot Wounds; Body Dumped Next To Cemetery

Former Olympics high jump gold medalist Jacques Freitag has been found gunshot with bullet wounds, police confirmed. He was 42.

His body was reportedly found in a field near a cemetery in his home of South Africa. Freitag died just a few days after his birthday. His body was found two weeks after he mysteriously disappeared.

Per the US Sun:

"Reports at the time said the one-time golden boy of South African sport was down on his luck and out of work while struggling with recreational drugs.

"The 42-year-old was picked up from his mum's shortly after midnight and dropped at a nearby area of Booysens by a mystery man who said that he had work for him.

"This was reportedly the last time he was seen alive."

The 2024 Summer Olympics starts later this month in Paris.

"The family have identified the body as his," SA Police Service Brigadier Brenda Muridili told ESPN. "... No one has been arrested yet but the police are following up on leads."

Athletics South Africa commission chairperson Hendrick Mokganyetsi often traveled with Freitag to international events and paid tribute.

"On the fifth of March 2005, I remember he cleared 2.38 meters — that was a national record," Mokganyetsi said, via EWN.

"He was a four-time SA champ in high jump. In 2000, he won gold at the World Junior Champs that were held in Santiago, Chile.

"[In 2003] he won the gold medal at the world champs in Paris with a jump of 2.35 meters. This victory made him the first South African to win a gold in high jump at the world champs."