San Diego Beach Volleyball Olympian Dies At 46 - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

San Diego Beach Volleyball Olympian Dies At 46

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SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Mike Whitmarsh, a 1996 Olympic silver medalist in beach volleyball, killed himself through carbon monoxide poisoning in the garage of a friend's home, officials said Wednesday. He was 46.

His body was found Tuesday at a home in Solana Beach, just north of San Diego, said San Diego County Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Jan Caldwell. The medical examiner's office said an autopsy showed Whitmarsh committed suicide with carbon monoxide from car exhaust.

Whitmarsh teamed with Mike Dodd to take the silver medal in the inaugural beach volleyball competition at the Atlanta Olympics. The team lost to Karch Kiraly and Kent Steffes in an all-U.S. final.

"We are shocked and saddened by the sudden and unexpected passing of Mike Whitmarsh," USA Volleyball CEO Doug Beal said in a statement. "The Olympic volleyball family and all of USA Volleyball have lost a wonderful person and remarkable athlete and performer.

"Our deepest sympathies and heartfelt condolences go out to his family for their loss at this tragic time."

Whitmarsh also played basketball at the University of San Diego, leading the Toreros to their first NCAA tournament appearance in 1984. He later switched to beach volleyball.

"Mike was a great alum and did great things for the school, and we will miss him greatly," athletic director Ky Snyder said.

Whitmarsh is survived by his wife, Cindy, and two daughters.

© 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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