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From staff and wire reports
Andy Irons, 32, and three-time World ASP Surfing Champion died Tuesday.

The surfing legend and native of the Hawaiian island of Kauai had planned to compete in this week's Rip Curl Pro Search event in Puerto Rico, the ninth stop of the 2010 World ASP Surfing Tour, but decided to withdraw.

Phil Irons, the father of the 32-year-old surfer, confirmed his son's death to the Associated Press. The cause of death was not immediately known.

The younger Irons was found dead in a hotel room in Dallas, where he was on a layover en route to his home on Kauai. He was returning from Puerto Rico, where he was to have competed in the 2010 Rip Curl Pro Search.

Employees at the Grant Hyatt Hotel DFW Airport found the body and called Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport police at 9:44 a.m.

Public Safety officials said the guest had checked in Monday and had died of unknown causes.

The Tarrant County Medical Examiner will perform an autopsy Wednesday to determine the cause of death.

Irons was expected to compete against two Australian surfers in his first heat Saturday, but didn't show up, much to the confusion of commentators.

Rip Curl officials said Irons withdrew Sunday, citing an illness he contracted during an event in Portugal.

Irons had been one of surfing's most prestigious athletes. A world champion in 2002, 2003 and 2004, Irons was at the forefront of competitive surfing and held a famous rivalry with famed 9-time champion Kelly Slater.

Irons is survived by wife, Lyndie, and younger brother and former world tour competitor Bruce Irons. Lyndie is pregnant and scheduled to give birth to their son and first child in December.

Irons was scheduled to compete in the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing in Hawaii, which is scheduled to begin next week. He was a four-time winner in the prestigious event.

"The thing that I think many of us appreciated the most about Andy was that he was an incredibly real person," Triple Crown spokeswoman Jodi Wilmott said. "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% of the time."

Wilmott said Irons was a passionate person and an incredibly competitive athlete.

"He reveled in competition and in stepping up to the plate and I think that's something in sport that anybody can admire," she said.

Irons claimed the world championship in 2002, '03 and '04, becoming an icon in the surfing world. He was also revered on his home island of Kauai, along with his younger brother Bruce, also a pro surfer. Irons was raised and learned how to surf on the tranquil and scenic North Shore, where he was married three years ago.

***

Contributing: James Sullivan, BNQT.com; The Associated Press
 

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I hate to speculate on drugs, but when a healthy 32 year old famous person dies in a hotel of unkown causes, that has to be suspect #1.
 

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I hate to speculate on drugs, but when a healthy 32 year old famous person dies in a hotel of unkown causes, that has to be suspect #1.
At the end of the day you may be correct, however heart attack is also a possible cause. Lost a friend when I was young. We were both healthy and fit, his heart just stopped during a swimming exercise.
 

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How sad. He had a very bright future.


RIP
 
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