Sarah Teelow, a 20-year-old Australian waterskier, died Monday night after her family chose to end the life support system keeping her alive. Teelow was involved in a waterskiing accident during a treacherous competition on Australia's Hawkesbury River on Sunday. Teelow's parents', Chris and Tania, made the difficult decision to terminate the life support late on Monday.
Teelow had recently returned from Spain where she dominated the formula 2 division at the World Waterski Racing Championships, two-months prior. She was also Australia's leader in the sport. Sarah Teelow's own mother, Tania Teelow, was also a professional waterskier; a two-time world champion in the sport.
The young skier was participating in a difficult waterskiing competition called the 'Bridge-to-Bridge' race near Sydney at the time of the accident. Sarah reportedly lost her footing on her skis soon after the race commenced on Sunday. The Bridge-to-Bridge race encompasses waterskiers skiing at speeds up to 121-kilometers per hour, as well as being a harrowing 75-miles in length. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Teelow is the seventh waterskier to die in Australia within five years.
Teelow was flown to the Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney after sustaining extensive injuries to her spinal cord and head. She was determined to be in critical condition upon initial medical evaluation.
Friends and family of the athlete are heartbroken, with Sarah's friends' holding a tribute to the young woman, referring to Teelow as a "champion on and off [the] water."
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