David Wilkie dead: 1976 British Olympic swimming champion dies 'peacefully' aged 70 after cancer battle

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British Olympic swimming champion David Wilkie has died aged 70

British Olympic swimming champion David Wilkie, who won 200m breaststroke gold for Great Britain in Montreal in 1976, has died aged 70. His family said the Scottish great died peacefully on Wednesday morning following his battle with cancer.

In a statement, the family said:“It is with great sadness that the family of David Wilkie MBE announce that he died peacefully surrounded by his family this morning, following his brave battle with cancer.”

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Wilkie won the 200m breaststroke gold medal in Montreal in 1976, along with two Olympic silver medals and three world titles. Wilkie, who was born in Colombo, Sri Lanka in 1954 to Scottish parents, won his first major medal, a bronze, at the 1970 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh while representing Scotland. He won his first World Championship gold in Belgrade in 1973, and he went on to win the 100m and 200m breaststroke titles in Cali in 1975.

British Olympic swimming champion David Wilkie has died aged 70British Olympic swimming champion David Wilkie has died aged 70
British Olympic swimming champion David Wilkie has died aged 70 | Popperfoto via Getty Images

Wilkie's outstanding performance in Montreal earned him Olympic gold after breaking the previous world mark by more than three seconds. This record, one of five he set throughout his career, stood for five years. Wilkie, however, chose to retire just one month after the Games, at the age of 22. Wilkie received an MBE in 1977 and went on to become a successful businessman. He is survived by his wife, Helen, and their two children, Natasha and Adam.

Adam Wilkie said: “My dad was a truly wonderful man, father, and husband. He achieved so much in his life and those that knew him will never forget his love for life, kindness, and wonderful sense of humour.”

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