Life Cut Short: Simon Dunn, Australia's First Gay Bobsledder and Football Star, Dies Too Soon at 35

Chisom Ndianefo
Simon Dunn
twitter | Twitter

Australia's first publicly gay bobsled player has passed on. The shocking news is a huge blow to the LGBTIAQ+ community in Australia and sports at large. Simon Dunn was only 35 at the time of his sudden death, and we will discuss every detail surrounding his passing in this read.

Keep reading for the details.

Finding A Body

Simon Dunn
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At about 10am on Saturday, January 21, 2023, locals alerted the police after finding the body of a man inside Crown Street, Surry Hills.

“The body is believed to be that of the 35-year-old occupant.  Officers from Surry Hills Police Area Command have commenced inquiries into the circumstances surrounding his death, which is not being treated as suspicious." the NSW police spokesperson said.

Confirming His Death


Australian police and his agent from Ruby Rose Management confirmed the news of his death to the public.

Discovering Bobsledding

Simon Dunn
twitter | Twitter

The 35-year-old fell in love with bobsledding on a work trip to Canada and later represented Australia in the North American Cup.

He also joined the Convicts, Australia's first gay rugby team that plays in the Sydney Suburban Rugby Union championship, and the Kings Cross Steelers in London.

Bobsled Comeback

Simon Dunn
twitter | Twitter

In 2021, the athlete announced he was returning to bobsled with a dream of participating in the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

An Injury Stopped The Mission

Unfortunately, the star suffered a bicep injury during training which cut his journey short as he had to fly down to Australia for treatment, forcing him into early retirement.

Getting His Accolades

Giphy | Bustle

Dunn was also nominated for the Australian LGBTI Awards Sports Personality of the Year in 2018 and 2019. He was also popular in his community for his community efforts especially on LGBTIAQ+ advocacy and works in the arts.

Fighting For The LGBTQ+ Community

Simon Dunn
twitter | Twitter

Dunn used his voice to address former Wallaby Israel Folau's comment that all gay people were going to hell while encouraging an end to homophobia in Rugby.

"There is still homophobia in sport. It’s a culture that has been created and embedded over decades and I think we’re still at the tail end of that with the work we need to do to put an end to it."

PDA With Partner

The professional sportsman also broke the internet when he attracted the media for kissing his ex after the Sydney Convicts had won their grand final game.

He defended his actions in a statement and told the public it was shared to "celebrate" his win.

"One of the team mates got a photo of that. So I posted it thinking it’s a nice photo, I could use my profile that there are gay athletes out there. Then I started to retweet it in response to Australian Rugby Union’s lack of response with regards to Israel Folau."

Parting Ways With Partner

In November 22, the late Dunn announced that he and his partner of five years had split up. The breakup was mutual "after a rough year of personal loss."

"As we just celebrated our 5 year anniversary, it became apparent our goals and journeys had changed, for me, my passion will always be working for my community and advocacy organizations plus exploring further ways I can contribute."

Social Media Activities Before His Death

Simon Dunn
twitter | Twitter

The 35-year-old, last active on social media on Thursday, posted a pic and captioned it, "I think it's time for another photoshoot?". He also dropped photos of him spending Christmas in the sun on the beach.

Pride Cruise 2022

Dunn shared pictures of him traveling on the Pride Cruise from Melbourne in December 2022.

A Fresh Start

Simon Dunn
twitter | Twitter

On January 1, Dunn posted a picture with the Sydney Harbor Bridge firework in the background with the caption.

"Oh hey 2023. Leaving a roller coaster of a 2022 in the past...".

Giving Back To His Community

The late star was passionate about giving back to his community and volunteering. He gave his time and energy to multiple charities. According to statements from the Ruby Rose Management Agency, his favorite charities included Bobby Goldsmith Foundation, Give Out Day and Pride in Sport.

Tributes For Dunn

Simon Dunn
twitter | Twitter

Tributes are pouring in droves from fans across the world for the LGBTIAQ+ ambassador.

"My thoughts and deepest condolences goes out to his family and those closest to him. He will be missed in so many ways. A genuine, all-round nice guy, who had time for everyone."

Dj and drag performer Kitty Glitter dropped an emotional tribute.

"I knew him as a young adorable teenager and watched him blossom into the beautiful man and talented outstanding sportsman. I am in shock and heartbroken … We all loved [him] dearly..."