Lifestyle & Belief

Russian Olympic volleyball coach dies of unexplained causes in Croatia


Evgeniya Startseva #13 of Russia reacts after the loss to Brazil during Women's Volleyball quarterfinals on Day 11 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Earls Court on August 7, 2012 in London, England.



In a disturbing footnote to the just-ended London Olympic Games, Reuters reports that 43-year-old Sergei Ovchinnikov, Russia's women's volleyball coach, has died. 

The death occurred while Ovchinnikov was attending a training camp with the Dynamo Moscow volleyball club team in Croatia, according to Reuters. Reuters added that the team's website reported he "suddenly passed away." 

According to, Ovchinnikov allegedly committed suicide, possibly in response to his teams 5th place finish in the Olympics. 

Russia was one of the favorites to win, but was pushed out of medal contention by Brazil. 

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RT reported, via RSN, that former Russian coach Vladimir Kuzyutkin told media that he didn't "know why he couldn't cope" with the loss. 

According to, Alexander Yaremenko, the general director of the All-Russian Volleyball Federation Alexander Yaremenko couldn't confirm the suicide reports, but did confirm that Ovchinnikov was dead - and that "so far nothing's clear."

The last high-profile Olympic suicide to hit the US news occurred in July 2011, when Olympic freestyle skier and silver medalist Jeret "Speedy" Peterson killed himself outside Salt Lake City.