Olympian Whitehead dies in Texas

Mark Whitehead in 2004.

Mark Whitehead in 2004. (Image credit: Mitchell Clinton/www.clintonphoto.com)

USA Cycling confirmed today the death of Mark Whitehead, a member of the USA's Olympic track cycling team in 1984. He was 50 years old.

Whitehead died while attending the USA Cycling junior track national championships in Texas, but there were no details given on the cause of his death.

A resident of Oceanside, California, Whitehead was a coach to many of the sport's top athletes, including Rahsaah Bahati and multi-time world champion Sarah Hammer.

According to an interview with Fixed Gear Fever's Scott Patton, Whitehead began his cycling career as a junior in 1973. His first major success was making the world championship team for juniors in 1978 at the age of 17.

He held 20 national championship titles, including the team pursuit in 1984 leading up to his only appearance at the Olympic Games.

He is survived by his wife and three children.

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