Three-time Olympian and multitime Worlds single sculls medalist Ángel Fournier Rodriguez, Cuba’s most successful rower, died of a heart attack yesterday in Dallas TX, where he had recently moved; he was 35 years old. He is survived by his wife Yusmary Mengana and two children, Natalia age five and Ángel Lázaro age two.
Fournier Rodriguez had told Cuban media outlet CiberCuba in an interview earlier this year that he had some cardiac problems in 2019.
His wife Yusmary Mengana was an Olympic canoer and three-time Pan Am gold medalist.
Fournier Rodriguez won three Worlds medals in the single - silvers in 2013, bronze in 2014, and silver in 2017, and placed sixth in the 2016 Olympics and seventh in 2012. He rowed in the Cuban men’s quad in 2008, which placed 12th. His first international race was in 2005, where he placed sixth in the single at the age of 17.
His 2017 silver was Cuba’s first Worlds medal in the sport of rowing.
Fournier Rodriguez was born in Caimanera Guantánamo, and started rowing at the age of 12 after being identified by rowing coaches in the province, likely due to his formidable stature; Fournier Rodriguez was 6’5” and always extremely fit. He had moved to the United States two years ago and had planned to continue competing.
row2k joins the rowing world in mourning Fournier Rodriguez; we will be pulling for his friends and especially his family.
Ángel Fournier, best Cuban rower of all time, dies in the US A remembrance from Canottieri Lario, where Fournier Rodriguez trained in 2015.
The Angel of Cuban Rowing, from WorldRowing.
World Rowing is saddened to hear of the passing of Cuban rower Angel Fournier Rodriguez.— World Rowing (@WorldRowing) March 16, 2023
Fournier Rodriguez was a multiple time World Cup medallist, Pan Am Champion, and 2x time Olympian
We wish to extend our condolences to Angel's family and the Cuban Federation. pic.twitter.com/7SN6sQW80E