Surfing World Mourns Death of Champ Andy Irons
He may have contracted dengue fever in Portugal
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 3, 2010 2:50 PM CDT

(Newser) – He may not be a household name, but he was an absolute giant in the surfing world. That community today is mourning the death of 32-year-old Andy Irons, who was found dead in a Dallas hotel room. Police have ruled out foul play. Irons had just withdrawn from a tournament citing an illness he contracted in Portugal that may have been dengue fever, reports AOL News. His wife, Lyndie, is 7 months' pregnant with their first child.

"No one who knew Andy could ever put into words what his passing means for the tight-knit community of professional surfers, for surfing fans worldwide or for the island of Kauai," writes Jake Howard in a tribute at ESPN. Irons won three world championships, and his professional rivalry with legend Kelly Slater captivated fans. "It's just such a major loss," says his uncle. "Just naturally gifted ability and just a blessing for all of the family. That's what his real gift was." Click here for more.