Tributes flood in for cyclist with 'zest for life' who died suddenly during RideLondon event

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Tributes have flooded in for a cyclist with a “zest for life” who died suddenly during a RideLondon bike event.

Maris Ozols, 67, collapsed during the London to Surrey bike ride over the weekend, which saw hundreds of cyclists take on the 46 mile route.

On announcing his death, his family described him as a man who “made the most of every day” and pledged to raise money for the British Heart Foundation in his memory.

They said Mr Ozols – a well-loved husband, father, grandfather and friend, was “a well-read and cultured man with an insatiable thirst for life and [an] in-depth knowledge of the arts, music, literature and everything in between”.


Maris: ‘zest for life’

They told the Standard: “He had strong principals and would never back down from what he believed in.

“He was awarded the medal of gratitude for his services as a foreigner to Poland’s fight for freedom and democracy with Solidarność in the 80s. 


Tributes: Maris, centre, on holiday with his two sons

“He was very generous and had an abundance of friends and people who both loved and respected him. He refused to grow old, a man that was young at heart and led a full and active life swimming and cycling at numerous events. 

“His passing will be terribly missed by all.

“He leaves behind his beloved wife, four children and grandchildren and all the friends who loved him.”


Well-loved: Maris, pictured with his daughter, enjoyed cycling, swimming and yoga

Within a matter of hours, more than £1000 had been raised in Mr Ozols’ name on the MyDonate page, which will go towards funding research for heart conditions.

Referring to Mr Ozols’ sudden death, a statement on the site said: “We never saw it coming. He didn’t have a history of heart problems as far as we knew.

“It will take us some time to come to terms with his sudden death, but we hope to contribute to research into the prevention of anyone else having to go through the pain of losing a loved one so suddenly.”

Donors posted tributes to the “inspirational” cyclist, with one adding that he knew how to “celebrate life”.

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