At just 49 years old, iconic Kiwi wood chopper Jason Wynyard has passed away.
In May, Wynyard was diagnosed with stage four Burkitt Lymphoma, a rare and aggressive cancer that affects the lymphatic system* and immediately underwent chemotherapy.
A social media post to his Instagram revealed that Wynyard underwent three cycles of chemotherapy but despite their best efforts, doctors informed him in August that the treatment had been unsuccessful, leaving him with a matter of weeks left to live.
Since the news of his passing, sentiments have flooded in for the nine-time Stihl Timbersports World Champion affectionately known as 'Mr Timbersports'.
In a media release on Wednesday, STIHL NZ Managing Director Jochen Speer said Jason was more than a world champion, he was an inspiring athlete, talented technician, ambassador and colleague for decades, and above all, a great mate to so many of our team members.
"We wish his whanau our sincerest wishes at this difficult time, and we will treasure our
wonderful memories of Jason and his connection with STIHL," he said.
New Zealand's basketball team the Tall Blacks, whom Wynyard's son, Tai has represented posted to their social media, acknowledging his passing and offering their condolences to his family and friends.
"Wynyard is unparalleled in wood chopping timber sports, winning nine senior world championships and many more titles around the world," they wrote.
In 2017, he was recognised in the Queen's New Year's Honours list, being made a Member of the NZ Order of Merit (MNZM).
Despite losing his battle with cancer, Wynyard will forever be remembered for his tenacity, competitiveness and ability to tackle any challenge head-on.
An iconic Kiwi figure who will be missed by many, rest easy Jason Wynyard.
Late last year, Jason Wynyard joined REX host Dominic George to talk about his international comeback at the Timber Sports World Championship in Sweden, ending a three-year hiatus from wood chopping.
Listen to the full chat between the late Jason Wynyard and Dominic George above.
*The lymphatic system, or lymphoid system, is an organ system in vertebrates that is part of the immune system, and complementary to the circulatory system. It consists of a large network of lymphatic vessels, lymph nodes, lymphoid organs, lymphoid tissues and lymph.