As Nauru is gripped in a surge of rising COVID cases, the nation has recorded one COVID death so far and she was a national sporting icon.
Reanna Solomon, 40, a Commonwealth Games gold medallist and Olympian, succumbed to the virus over the weekend.
She was the first Nauruan woman to win a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games.
Former weightlifter and now a judge with the International Weightlifting Federation, Della Shaw said Ms Solomon was a longtime friend and will be missed.
“I stayed at her home for two years when I was training in Nauru. She was like a sister to me. We have had so many fond memories together,” said Ms Shaw.
“I have just returned from a competition in the United States and soon as I landed I received the news. It really is sad.”
Other members of the weightlifting fraternity have passed on their condolences.
Ms Solomon won two gold medals at the Commonwealth Games in 2002 in the super heavyweight category.
She competed at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens placing 10th overall.
She also won three gold medals at the 2003 Pacific Games and won the Oceania Championship on numerous occasions.
Former Nauru president and Nauruan weightlifting legend Marcus Stephen said Ms Solomon set the standard for other Nauruan lifters to follow.
General secretary of the Commonwealth Weightlifting Federation Paul Coffa said Ms Solomon would be missed.
She is survived by her husband Tavita and their five children. According to the family, funeral details will be announced later.
COVID update in Nauru
Nauru has 4,107 active COVID cases as of July 4, 2022. This means more than 40 per cent of the nation’s population have contracted the virus.
A total of 12,164 tests have been done since the outbreak three weeks ago. The government has announced that 741 people have recovered and ten people are admitted to the hospital.
So far only one death has been recorded.
There are 476 houses which are on lockdown with 3,786 residents, and 93 occupants are in the quarantine facility.
Current test positivity rate stands at 24 per cent.
Nauru has put in measures to control the movement of people and the government is urging for all to get vaccinated.
So far, 40 children aged 5-11 years received their first dose of the COVID vaccine.