McGarry's father speaks out

Kelly McGarry’s father has described his shock over his son’s tragic death.

McGarry passed away on Monday during a filming session with his YT team. It is thought he suffered a heart attack while riding uphill on a trail near Queenstown.

Speaking to, Nick McGarry expressed his shock over Kelly collapsing despite the freerider only being 33 years old. He said: “How the hell could that happen with a such fine physique like that? It just doesn’t make sense. Boy, he was just a ball of muscle. He was so fit – not heart attack material at all.”

Nick McGarry will now travel to Queenstown to attend two memorials that have been planned for Kelly. The first will take place in the town itself on Friday and the second will be in the mountains behind the town on Monday.

Kelly’s mother died ten years ago but his father believes she would have been proud of the career he had made for himself. He said: “He’s awesome. He’s one of New Zealand’s greats and I’m just so proud of him. Everybody felt comfortable in his company. I said to him ‘crikey dick mate you should be a politician and show them the way’.”

In response to McGarry’s sudden death, a cardiologist has said he believes that cardiac testing should be mandatory for all elite athletes in New Zealand.

Liam Hughes, who was a consultant for Norwich FC and worked in the UK for 22 years, told “I don’t think many people won’t be getting on their bike because of what’s happened. They will probably just say ‘it’s one of those things’.” He went on to say that sudden cardiac arrests in sports people are, “not that uncommon an event, sadly.

Italy has had mandatory screenings for a number of years and found six out of 2354 elite athletes that were forced to quit their sports with potential heart issues. Hughes also point to Premier League footballer Fabrice Muamba who collapsed mid-way through a game in 2012 as further evidence that elite athletes should be more willing to be tested for heart problems.