The news of shooter Jorge Ballesteros’ untimely death has shocked fellow IPSC shooters and fans alike, as tributes flooded in online.
Jorge Ballesteros was a decorated shooting champion whose career saw him pick up multiple gold medals across Europe.
Aged just 39, his death comes as a great shock to fellow members of the International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC), many of whom have come together to pay their respects online.
Here’s what we know about the life and career of the late sport shooter.
Jorge Ballesteros’s death follows reported shooting incident
Ballesteros’s passing was confirmed by ISPC shooting academy, Double Alpha, who wrote in a statement uploaded to Facebook: “It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our dear friend and IPSC World Champion, Jorge Ballesteros.”
“Jorge was not only a gifted competitor, but a true sportsman and friend to all who knew him. His passion for the sport of IPSC was matched only by his dedication to honing his craft and mentoring others.”
Ballesteros’s passing came just hours after Spanish hunting magazine Jara Y Sedal reported that the 39-year-old had been found inside his personal vehicle in a serious, critical condition.
The Spanish outlet reports that Ballesteros’s condition was the result of a head wound the shooter had obtained following an incident involving a firearm.
Ballesteros was a 12-time champion
Ballesteros’s senior career spanned some 18 years, during which the decorated shooter was able to rack up an impressive medal total.
The IPSC Spanish Handgun Championship was something of a favored tournament for Ballesteros, who picked up his first gold in 2005, before picking up an additional 11 first-place medals in the following 12 tournaments.
Ballesteros’s success was not limited to Spain, however. The late shooter also picked up golds in three IPSC European Handgun Championships in Barcelos 2013, Felsőtárkány 2016 and Belgrade 2019.
Perhaps his most notable achievement came in 2017 though, when Ballesteros gained international recognition after winning the 2017 IPSC Handgun World Shoot Open in Châteauroux, France.
Late star achieved childhood dream
As per Ballesteros’s official blog, the sports shooter had dreamed of success in the field from a young age, having been inspired to try his hand at shooting by his father.
So much was his enthusiasm for the sport that Ballesteros, accompanied by his after, competed at shooting meets ages in France aged 16 in order to bypass Spain’s age restriction laws.
Beyond competing professionally, Ballesteros also offered regular advice and tips to budding sports shooters and ran his own academy, where those new to the sport could learn from a world champion.
Ballesteros’s contributions to the sport did not go unnoticed by Spanish officials. In 2001, he was appointed as a High Level Sportsman by the Spanish Olympic Committee, before the Spanish Olympic Shooting Federation went on to appoint him as a Shooting Master in 2003.
Tributes paid to Ballesteros online
Ballesteros’s sudden death has sent shocks through the sport shooting community, as tributes have flooded in online from across the globe.
Beneath a post from The Brazilian Practice Shooting Federation announcing the news, one devastated fan wrote: “May God rest him and comfort the family of this great Champion.”
Fellow IPSC shooter Dani Cifre paid tribute to Ballesteros on Instagram, writing: “You always had kind words. You always had advice. I will NEVER forget you. Rest in Peace my friend. Rest in Peace Champion.”
At the time of writing, there have been no official statements from the family of Ballesteros regarding any possible public memorial arrangements.