Wife of Grant Wahl Discusses His Death at 49 Following World Cup Tragedy

Wife of Grant Wahl Discusses His Death at 49 Following World Cup Tragedy

For the first time since his death, Grant Wahl’s wife, Dr. Céline Gounder, has openly discussed his sudden death during the 2022 World Cup.

Last week, the notable sports journalist traveled to Qatar to cover the quarterfinal match between Argentina and the Netherlands. However, Wahl collapsed in his press box seat at the Lusail Iconic Stadium. Despite speculation over his death and many believing he was killed, the New York City Medical Examiner determined that the reporter’s cause of death was a ruptured aortic aneurysm.

According to his agent, Tim Scanlan, the 49-year-old was reportedly suffering “some sort of acute distress in the press room” prior to his death. And, according to his wife, his aneurysm was likely accumulating for years.

“He had an autopsy done here in New York by the New York City medical examiner’s office, and it showed that he had an aortic aneurysm that ruptured,” Grounder, who is an infectious disease specialist, told Gayle King Wednesday on CBS Mornings. She added the information, “It’s just one of these things that had been likely brewing for years, and for whatever reason, it happened at this point in time.”

As she continued, she discussed the harrowing nature of her husband’s death. Had she not seen Wahl’s body herself, she wouldn’t have believed he was really gone. “I just really needed to see, because honestly, this has been so surreal. Even now, having seen the body, it’s really hard to believe this is real,” she said.

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Although the circumstances have been less than ideal, Gounder is finding solace knowing how loved Wahl was all around the world. The doctor shared the sentiments, “It’s so touching to know that he was so loved by so many people. It makes me feel a little bit less alone. It’s like a warm hug, when you really need it, in moments like this.”

“I want people to remember him as this kind, generous person who was really dedicated to social justice. I think that’s another aspect of soccer that was important to him — promoting the women’s game, and the recent statements he had made about LGBT rights. That was Grant,” she continued.

In addition to Gounder’s interview, she wrote of Wahl in a post on Substack. “Grant was an incredibly empathetic, dedicated, and loving husband, brother, uncle, and son who was our greatest teammate and fan,” his wife expressed. “We will forever cherish the gift of his life; to share his company was our greatest love and source of joy.”

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