We never met Grant Wahl, but he was hard to ignore. His soccer columns on ESPN were brilliant and alway well written. He was the kind of guy you would read even if he wrote a cookbook or a lawnmower repair manual. He was just an excellent, engaging writer.
He was at the World Cup, completely in his element, and shockingly passed away while reporting.
He was just 48.
He had written about being sick and feeling under the weather but that he was carrying on: “My body finally broke down on me. Three weeks of little sleep, high stress and lots of work can do that to you. 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 on Dec. 5.
“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.”
We never knew him outside of his writing, but he was clearly gifted and a great ambassador for the game he loved. We’re so sorry to see this news. Deepest condolences to his family and loved ones.
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