Helen Smart was born on September 6, 1979, in Manchester, England. She started swimming at the age of four, and soon showed her talent and passion for the sport. She joined the City of Manchester Aquatics Swim Team, where she trained under coach Sean Kelly.
Smart specialized in backstroke events, and competed at national and international levels. She represented Great Britain at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, where she swam in the women’s 50-meter and 200-meter backstroke. She also won a bronze medal at the 1998 Kuala Lumpur Commonwealth Games, as part of the women’s 4×100-meter medley relay team.
Smart retired from swimming in the early 2000s, and pursued a career in education. She studied at Edge Hill University, where she earned a degree in primary education. She then worked as a teacher and a deputy head teacher at various schools in Wigan, England.
In 2019, she became the head teacher of Worsley Mesnes Community Primary School, where she was loved and respected by her staff, students, and parents. She was described as an inspirational leader who had a positive impact on the school and the community. She was also a dedicated B Band Euphonium player, who played in several brass bands.
Helen Smart’s Death and Cause of Death
Helen Smart died on August 14, 2023, at her home in Wigan. Her four-year-old daughter found her unresponsive in bed, and told her husband Craig Smart: “Daddy, I can’t wake mummy up.” He tried to revive her with CPR, but it was too late. She was pronounced dead by paramedics.
The cause of death is not known at this time, but it is believed to be natural. Her family said they were waiting for the results of a post-mortem examination to confirm the exact cause. They said they were devastated by the loss of their beloved wife, daughter, sister, and friend.
Her husband Craig Smart posted a heartfelt tribute on Facebook, saying: “She loved life so much! She loved her family so much! She loved her friends so much! She loved her school so much! She loved her job so much! She loved music so much! She loved swimming so much! She loved everything so much!”
He also thanked everyone who had sent messages of condolence and support, saying: “We are overwhelmed by the love you have shown us all! Helen would be so proud to see how many lives she touched!”
Her father John Don-Duncan also posted a photo of him, his partner Linda, and Helen on Facebook, saying: “Helen was our pride and joy… we are so proud of her… she lit up a room as soon as she arrived… Linda and I can’t comprehend how she could just simply go to sleep and not wake up?!”
Many other people paid tribute to Helen Smart on social media and in person. Her former swimming coach Sean Kelly said she was “a wonderful person who achieved so much”. Her former swimming teammate Sharron Davies said she was “always a pleasure to interview & always a huge smile on her face”. Her school’s chairwoman of governors Alison Halliwell said she was “a beloved headteacher who will be greatly missed”.
A memorial service was held for Helen Smart at St James’ Church in Wigan on August 27, 2023. Hundreds of people attended the service, which featured music from brass bands and choirs. A balloon release was also held outside the church, where people wrote messages for Helen on pink balloons.
Q: Who was Helen Smart?
A: Helen Smart was a former Olympic swimmer who represented Great Britain at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. She later became a head teacher of Worsley Mesnes Community Primary School in Wigan.
Q: How did Helen Smart die?
A: Helen Smart died suddenly at her home in Wigan on August 14, 2023. Her cause of death is not known yet, but it is believed to be natural.
Q: How old was Helen Smart when she died?
A: Helen Smart was 43 years old when she died.
Q: What did Helen Smart do after retiring from swimming?
A: Helen Smart pursued a career in education after retiring from swimming. She studied primary education at Edge Hill University, and worked as a teacher and a deputy head teacher at various schools in Wigan. She became the head teacher of Worsley Mesnes Community Primary School in 2019.
Q: How did Helen Smart’s family and friends react to her death?
A: Helen Smart’s family and friends were shocked and saddened by her death. They paid tribute to her on social media and in person, and remembered her as a loving, cheerful, and inspirational person. They also attended a memorial service for her at St James’ Church in Wigan on August 27, 2023.