COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Feb. 5, 2020) – USA Volleyball is saddened to learn of the passing of Edgar Laforest, a long-time member of the U.S. Men’s Sitting Volleyball National Team and an international volleyball referee

Laforest, who passed away early Wednesday morning with his family by his side in Puerto Rico, was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer a few weeks ago.

Laforest made his international debut at the 2006 World ParaVolley World Championships and concluded it with being named to the 2016 U.S. Paralympic Men’s Sitting Team. He competed in three world championships and three Parapan American Games during his time with the national team. Laforest earned three silver medals at Parapan American Games, along with a gold at the 2009 Parapan American Championships.

“Edgar was an incredibly great advocate for our sport,” U.S. Men’s Sitting Volleyball National Team Head Coach Greg Walker said. “He has a long history of being an athlete and respected volleyball coach as well as being an active international official. He was involved with the sitting volleyball team long before I started working with the team and will be remembered and honored by his teammates and family.”

Laforest became disabled in 1988 following a serious car accident during which a drunk driver struck him alongside a road causing severe and permanent damage to both legs. As a standing volleyball player prior to the accident, he stayed involved in the sport afterwards by becoming a referee. Laforest earned his international referee badge in 2005. Through a friend, he met then U.S. Men’s Sitting Team Head Coach Bill Hamiter, who encouraged him to join the sitting team program. One year after becoming an international referee, Laforest earned a spot on the U.S. Men’s Sitting Team.