The 35-year-old was competing to win a race as a part of the Ningbo, China-based series when he collapsed unexpectedly. The Vancouver Sun reports that Gao was heard saying "I can't carry on" before cameramen swarmed him.
A responder on scene tried to resuscitate him using CPR but to no avail. Gao was later taken to hospital and pronounced dead.
A statement from the network that produces Chase Me later confirmed that Gao had suffered from an apparent cardiac arrest.
Gao's agency, JetStar Entertainment, stated:
We are very shocked and saddened and even until now find it impossible to accept. Thank you media friends and every fan of Godfrey's for their concern. His management and team were present and his family were urgently rushed to the location. Please respect Godfrey's family in this time of sorrow and refrain from disturbing them. We will accompany Godfrey's family to handle discreet funeral arrangements. Thank you, everyone.
Gao was born in Taipei, Taiwan, in 1984. His family moved to Canada while he was still a child. The towering 6'4" Gao spent his youth in Vancouver and later when to Capilano University, where he played for the school's basketball team.
Gao later moved back to Taiwan to pursue a modelling career and would go on to be the first Asian model to appear in a Louis Vuitton advertisement campaign in 2011. The Guardian dubbed the then-26 year old "the world's first Asian male supermodel."
Gao had acting credits in Harald Zwart's 2013 film The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones.
Fans and friends have paid tribute to Gao in the wake of this tragic news. See those posts below.
Godfrey Gao was one of the first Asian men I heard about when I entered the business. He was a huge torch bearer for most of us. To see him pass at such a young age is unsettling. Thank you for your inspiration and for knocking down walls so we didn't have to. RIP pic.twitter.com/eXdaUYd8OE— Yoshi Sudarso (@yoshi_sudarso) November 27, 2019
This was the last time Godfrey spoke to his fans before he went to record the show. The smile he had when he said bye to his fans for the last time... cr: https://t.co/f5PDXsBdYi #GodfreyGaoYixiang #godfreygao #RIPGodfreyGao pic.twitter.com/sQLQ6Z2fGD— 38jiejie.com (@38jiejie) November 27, 2019
Godfrey Gao, our Magnus Bane, died at 35 due to a collapse while filming a Chinese reality TV show.— Lily Collins Spain (@LilyCollinsSP) November 27, 2019
From here we want to send all our strenght and love to the family and friends. Godfrey will never be forgotten. 🧡 pic.twitter.com/0NutNC8Vf5