Olympian reads own eulogy and jokes about being "in the box in front of you"

Olympic gold medallist Dean Woods read his own eulogy as he briefly raised the spirits of mourners with a video message at his own funeral. The Australian cyclist was the one to tell his own life story ahead of his death, aged just 55.

The 1984 cycling champion tragically died of cancer earlier this month. Woods' funeral took place in Wangaratta in the Australian state of Victoria, and he appeared via video wearing the suit he was buried on.

“I’m well prepared, even though I’m in the box in front of you,” he said, drawing laughter from some in attendance. “This will be the suit I’ll be put in the box in. (I’ve) even got the torch… in there just in case it gets dark. I’ve had a pretty extraordinary life, it’s pretty hard for anyone to document that in a simple form, so the best person to do it is me.”

It was the first time Meagan, his wife and their three children had seen the video. Meagan spoke to The Herald Sun last week and wants to focus on the wonderful memories she had with her husband.

Although it was a very emotional moment, Meagan was pleased to see Woods’ face again at the funeral, albeit virtually. “We’re devastated,” she said. “I think once we get back home and into the swing of things, the silence will be deafening.

“Probably a month ago I came home from work and I’d left my phone at home. It was the middle of the day and he’s in a suit. And we’re in the Gold Coast, so it’s boiling hot, so I thought something wasn’t right here.

“I asked him, ‘Where are you going?’ and he said, ‘Nowhere’. So I said, ‘Why are you wearing a shirt?’ and he said ‘Ta-da. This is my going away outfit’.” Woods enjoyed a successful cycling career and his crowning moment came with teammates Michael Grenda, Kevin Nichols and Michael Turtur when they won the 4000m team pursuit at the Los Angeles Games, defeating the United States by 3.86 seconds in the final.

Commenting on his team’s epic victory, he told The Border Mail in 2004: "Expectations weren't high for us from the press, but we thought we would do pretty well. We had a close team.” He also captured a silver and bronze medal at the Seoul Olympics in 1988 and another third-placed medal in 1996.

He also captured three gold medals at the Commonwealth Games, two in 1986 and one in 1994. On Australia Day in 1985, he was awarded the Order of Australia medal for service to cycling.

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