Australian Olympic track cyclist Melissa Hoskins has died following reports that she was hit by a car.
Police said that a 32-year-old woman was taken to Royal Adelaide Hospital with serious injuries Saturday following a crash in Medindie. The woman, who was not named by South Australia Police, was later pronounced dead, according to a news release.
The driver, not named in the release either, was “known to the woman,” police said.
Local news agencies identified the woman as Hoskins and the driver as her husband, Rohan Dennis, 33, a former cycling world champion.
The police department said Tuesday that because of privacy laws, it is unable to confirm the names of those involved.
Hoskins’ father, Peter, said in a statement that the family was “utterly devastated” by her death.
“Not only have we lost a daughter and sister, her children have lost their mum, a freewheeling spirit, a giver with a big heart, patience and zest for life,” he said. “She was the rock of their life and ours and we need to honour her memory so they can grow up knowing who she was, what she stood for and what she gave to everyone whose life she touched.”
Police said that the driver of the vehicle had been arrested in connection with the case and charged with causing death by dangerous driving, driving without due care and endangering life. He was released on bail and is expected to appear in court on March 13, police said.
Hoskins competed for Australia at the 2012 London Olympics and the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games in the team pursuit and was in the squad that won the 2015 world title in the event.
“The AOC has expressed the utmost sadness at the loss of Olympic cyclist Melissa Hoskins after the tragic events in Adelaide,” the Australian Olympic Committee said in a post on X. “Our condolences go to Melissa’s family, friends and the cycling community at this extremely difficult time.”
AusCyling chief executive Marne Fechner also released a statement.
“Melissa described her team pursuit gold medal at the 2015 world championships as the highlight of her career but for the rest of us, the highlight was just having her around,” Fechner said. “Although she retired in 2017, her presence as an alumnus of the sport has been felt and appreciated by many in the cycling and riding community.”
Dennis won two world titles in the road time trial, as well as silver in the team pursuit at the London Olympics and bronze in the road time trial at the Tokyo Olympics.
He became the seventh Australian to wear the yellow jersey as race leader at the Tour de France by winning the opening time trial in 2015, setting a race record for his average speed.
Dennis, who has retired from competitive cycling, was named Australian cyclist of the year in 2015 and 2018 and won the 2015 Tour Down Under in his home city of Adelaide. After his retirement and their marriage in 2018, the Dennis family relocated from Europe to Adelaide from Europe.
Hoskins and Dennis were scheduled to take part in an event this month at the Tour Down Under in Adelaide.
“We are devastated by the news of Melissa Hoskins’ death. It’s an extremely tragic situation which has seen the loss of a young mum and champion cyclist,” Tour Down Under organizers said in a statement Monday, according to The Associated Press. “Given the circumstances, Rohan Dennis will no longer be participating.”