Tuesday, September 09, 2008

And now for this - great hurdler, great film, great personal story

This is a great story. Even more fascinating as I was merrily going about my web business when a colleague asked if I'd seen this film on BBC about Akii Buah

You know how when you're deep in something you're not really thinking...

"No", I said.

"Oh it was a beautiful film", he replied.

So we googled, but the original BBC film on i-player had been taken down.

Then my colleague Rob proceeds to tell me this extraordinary story of this extraordinary athlete from Uganda who broke the 400m record at the Olympics, whom trained with weights in his jacket.

He never defended his world record. Years later Uganda did not take part and the US's Moses would capture the limelight.

Akii had to flee the country and ended up in a refugee camp in Kenya, my colleague proceeded to recount the story, and there one day a journalist came across him, utterly baffled looking on in amazement.

One of the world's greatest athletes with not a penny to rub together, slumming it.

Akii was rescued and subsequently moved to Germany.

He passed away in 1997.

Now it's a great story in itself but it brings it even closer after my colleague Rob Ojok says...

"Oh yes he's my uncle"

"your what?"

" My Uncle. He used to come round my house haranguing me for not wearing puma gear his sponsors when I was heavily into Adidas. My dad would say "why are you so obsessed with Adidas when your uncle is giving you this puma gear for free".

"Your uncle?" I murmured.

Strange things happen huh!


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