Grant Wahl’s Wife Reveals Cause of Death After Sportswriter Died at World Cup in Qatar

Dr. Celine Gounder, the wife of sportswriter Grant Wahl, who died while covering the World Cup in Qatar, has opened up about her husband’s death, stating he died due to a burst blood vessel.

Appearing on CBS Mornings on Wednesday, December 14, Gounder, who is an infectious disease specialist and CBS News contributor, said, “He had an autopsy done here in New York by the New York City medical examiner’s office, and it showed that he had an aortic aneurysm that ruptured.”

“It’s just one of these things that had been likely brewing for years, and for whatever reason, it happened at this point in time,” she continued.

Wahl, a former Sports Illustrated journalist who later moved to Substack, was in Qatar covering the World Cup when he passed away. His agent, Tim Scanlan, said he “appeared to have suffered some sort of acute distress in the press room” of the stadium ahead of the Argentina v Netherlands game on Friday, December 9. Paramedics arrived on the scene but were unable to revive him.

Gounder said she was finishing up at work on Friday when she began receiving messages on Twitter and text. She was informed that her husband had collapsed and was taken to the hospital after about 20 minutes of CPR.

“I kept on asking: did he have a pulse?” she recalled. “If he had a pulse when he left the stadium, that would have been a good sign, but no one would answer the question. And so to me… I was scared.”

Wahl, who was an analyst on CBS Sports HQ throughout the Qatar World Cup, spoke about his health on his Spotify podcast on Thursday, revealing he had contracted bronchitis. His body was repatriated to the United States on Monday, December 12.

“I want people to remember him as this kind, generous person who was really dedicated to social justice,” Gounder said. “To know that he was loved by so many people makes me feel a little less alone. It’s like a warm hug when you really need it.”

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