Wife: Journalist Wahl died of aortic aneurysm at World Cup

Dec 13, 2022, 4:27 PM | Updated: Dec 14, 2022, 8:46 am
A tribute to journalist Grant Wahl is shown on a screen before the World Cup quarterfinal soccer ma...

A tribute to journalist Grant Wahl is shown on a screen before the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between England and France, at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Qatar, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022. Wahl, one of the most well-known soccer writers in the United States, died early Saturday Dec. 10, 2022 while covering the World Cup match between Argentina and the Netherlands. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)

(AP Photo/Abbie Parr)

              A tribute to journalist Grant Wahl is shown on a screen before the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between England and France, at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Qatar, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022. Wahl, one of the most well-known soccer writers in the United States, died early Saturday Dec. 10, 2022 while covering the World Cup match between Argentina and the Netherlands. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
            
              A tribute to journalist Grant Wahl is shown on a screen before the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between England and France, at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Qatar, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022. Wahl, one of the most well-known soccer writers in the United States, died early Saturday Dec. 10, 2022 while covering the World Cup match between Argentina and the Netherlands. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)
            
              A tribute to journalist Grant Wahl is shown on a screen before the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between England and France, at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Qatar, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022. Wahl, one of the most well-known soccer writers in the United States, died early Saturday Dec. 10, 2022 while covering the World Cup match between Argentina and the Netherlands. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)
            
              A tribute to journalist Grant Wahl is seen on his previously assigned seat at the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between England and France, at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Qatar, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022. Wahl, one of the most well-known soccer writers in the United States, died early Saturday Dec. 10, 2022 while covering the World Cup match between Argentina and the Netherlands. (AP Photo/Graham Dunbar)
            
              A tribute to journalist Grant Wahl is show on a screen before the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between England and France, at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Qatar, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022. Wahl, one of the most well-known soccer writers in the United States, died early Saturday Dec. 10, 2022 while covering the World Cup match between Argentina and the Netherlands. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
            
              Grant Wahl smiles as he holds a World Cup replica trophy during an award ceremony in Doha, Qatar on Nov. 29, 2022. Wahl, one of the most well-known soccer writers in the United States, died early Saturday Dec. 10, 2022 while covering the World Cup match between Argentina and the Netherlands. (Brendan Moran, FIFA via AP)
            
              A screenshot taken from video provided by FIFA of journalist Grant Wahl at an awards ceremony in Doha, Qatar in Nov. 2022. Wahl, one of the most well-known soccer writers in the United States, died early Saturday Dec. 10, 2022 while covering the World Cup match between Argentina and the Netherlands. (FIFA via AP)

NEW YORK (AP) — Grant Wahl died of a ruptured blood vessel when he was stricken while covering a World Cup match last weekend, according to an autopsy of the well-known American soccer writer.

Wahl’s wife, Dr. Céline Gounder, said Wednesday that an autopsy was conducted by the New York City Medical Examiner’s Office.

“Grant died from the rupture of a slowly growing, undetected ascending aortic aneurysm with hemopericardium,” she wrote on her husband’s website, referring to the wall that surrounds the heart. “The chest pressure he experienced shortly before his death may have represented the initial symptoms. No amount of CPR or shocks would have saved him. His death was unrelated to COVID. His death was unrelated to vaccination status. There was nothing nefarious about his death.”

Wahl, who was 49, was stricken in the media tribune of Lusail Iconic Stadium in Qatar early Saturday during extra time in Argentina’s quarterfinal match against the Netherlands. Emergency workers immediately attended to him and treated him for 20 to 30 minutes before taking him away on a stretcher, reporters in his vicinity said.

His body was transported to New York.

“This transition was handled with the utmost care and sensitivity,” Gounder wrote. “This was an international matter that required coordination from multiple agencies domestically and internationally, and there was full cooperation from everyone involved. Our sincere gratitude to everyone involved in repatriating Grant, in particular the White House, the U.S. Department of State, FIFA, U.S. Soccer and American Airlines.”

Wahl had complained during the World Cup about feeling ill.

“My body finally broke down on me. Three weeks of little sleep, high stress and lots of work can do that to you,” Wahl wrote on Dec. 5. “What had been a cold over the last 10 days turned into something more severe on the night of the USA-Netherlands game, and I could feel my upper chest take on a new level of pressure and discomfort.”

Wahl wrote that he tested negative for COVID-19 and sought treatment for his symptoms.

“I went into the medical clinic at the main media center today, and they said I probably have bronchitis. They gave me a course of antibiotics and some heavy-duty cough syrup, and I’m already feeling a bit better just a few hours later. But still: No bueno,” he wrote.

Wahl worked for Sports Illustrated from 1996 to 2021, known primarily for his coverage of soccer and college basketball. He then launched his own website, Fútbol with Grant Wahl, and a podcast with Meadowlark Media.

Wahl also worked for Fox Sports from 2012-19 and was hired by CBS Sports in 2021 as an analyst and editorial consultant. Wahl wrote the 2009 book “The Beckham Experiment” after English soccer star David Beckham joined Major League Soccer’s LA Galaxy and the 2018 book “Masters of Modern Soccer.”

Gounder said a memorial service is being planned.

___

AP World Cup coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/world-cup and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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

AP

The parents of Novak Djokovic of Serbia, father Srdjan and mother Dijana react during his post matc...
Associated Press

Djokovic’s dad to stay away from Australian Open semifinal

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Novak Djokovic’s father decided to stay away from the 21-time Grand Slam champion’s semifinal after getting embroiled in a flap involving spectators who brought banned Russian flags to Melbourne Park, Tennis Australia said Friday. In a release e-mailed to reporters about 2 1/2 hours before Djokovic was scheduled to face Tommy […]
24 hours ago
Los Angeles Clippers guard Terance Mann (14) blocks a shot by San Antonio Spurs guard Tre Jones (33...
Associated Press

Clippers extend win streak to 4 with 138-100 rout of Spurs

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Paul George scored 35 points, Kawhi Leonard added 27 and the Los Angeles Clippers extended their winning streak to a season-high four games with a 138-100 rout of the reeling San Antonio Spurs on Thursday night. It was the fifth time this season George has had at least 35 points. He […]
24 hours ago
Dallas Mavericks guard Spencer Dinwiddie (26) celebrates a three pointer against the Phoenix Suns d...
Associated Press

Dinwiddie scores 36, Mavs top Suns 99-95 after Doncic hurt

PHOENIX (AP) — Luka Doncic’s early injury on Thursday night gave the Dallas Mavericks a very valid reason to lose on the road. Instead, Spencer Dinwiddie responded to the adversity with a season-high 36 points, Dorian Finney-Smith added 18 points and 12 rebounds, and the Mavs held on for a 99-95 victory over the Phoenix […]
24 hours ago
Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Jack Johnson, right, battles for the puck with Calgary Flames forward...
Associated Press

Stauber wins again, Blackhawks beat Flames 5-1

CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — Two games into his NHL career, Blackhawks rookie goaltender Jaxson Stauber is playing like a poised veteran. Stauber stopped 34 shots for his second consecutive win and 13 players contributed a point as Chicago beat the Calgary Flames 5-1 Thursday night. “Looks really solid and calm in there,” Blackhawks coach Luke […]
24 hours ago
Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus celebrates after defeating Magda Linette of Poland during their semifina...
Associated Press

Rybakina meets Sabalenka in Australian Open women’s final

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Aryna Sabalenka figures she’ll feel some jitters when she steps out on court to face Elena Rybakina in the Australian Open women’s final. Saturday’s contest is, after all, Sabalenka’s first singles title match at a Grand Slam tournament. Rybakina is more familiar with this stage: She won Wimbledon a little more […]
24 hours ago
Colorado Avalanche goaltender Pavel Francouz, left, makes a glove save as Anaheim Ducks center Adam...
Associated Press

Vatrano’s hat trick, big 3rd period help Ducks stun Avs 5-3

DENVER (AP) — Frank Vatrano scored three goals, Adam Henrique and Mason McTavish scored 24 seconds apart in the third period and the Anaheim Ducks rallied from a two-goal deficit to stun Colorado 5-3 on Thursday night and snap the Avalanche’s six-game winning streak. Trailing 3-1, Vatrano scored his second goal with 1:23 left in […]
24 hours ago
Wife: Journalist Wahl died of aortic aneurysm at World Cup