Triple world surfing champion Andy Irons found dead in his hotel room at just 32
Three times world surfing champion Andy Irons has been found dead in a Dallas hotel room.
The 32-year-old had made the stop on his way home to Hawaii after failing to show up during a competition in Puerto Rico.
Employees at the Grant Hyatt Hotel DFW Airport found his body at 9.44am local time and public safety officials said he had died from unknown causes.
Champion: Andy Irons, 32, was found dead in a Dallas hotel room after withdrawing from a surfing competition in Puerto Rico
Irons was expected to compete against two Australian surfers in the first heat of the 2010 Rip Curl Pro Search on Saturday, but did not show up.
Officials said he withdrew from the competition the next day, citing an illness he contracted during an event in Portugal.
A statement posted on the website of sponsor Billabong said: 'The world of surfing mourns an incredibly sad loss today with the news that Hawaii's Andy Irons has died.
'Irons, 32, withdrew from a professional surfing event in Puerto Rico last weekend due to illness and passed away during a layover en-route to his home in Kauai, Hawaii.
'He had reportedly been battling with dengue fever, a viral disease.'
Illness: Mr Irons, who lived in Hawaii and won the world title three times, was said to have been battling dengue fever
Reports said that Irons had spent two days in Miami on an intravenous drip, but insisted on heading home to see his own doctor.
But he deteriorated and could not make a connecting flight to Hawaii from Dallas and checked into the hotel.
Family members travelled to Dallas yesterday.
Jodi Wilmott, a spokesman for the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing event in Hawaii - which Irons won four times - said: 'The thing that I think many of us appreciated the most about Andy was that he was an incredibly real person.
'Where a lot of champions in sports and celebrities become very guarded and you just wonder sometimes if you're really seeing who they are, you've got Andy Irons 100 per cent of the time.'
Irons was regarded as one of the world's best competitive surfers and won the world championship in 2002, 2003 and 2004.
He is survived by his wife Lyndie, who is eight months pregnant with their first chil
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