• Thu Jan 15 2009
  • Boxing hero Leo Rwabwogo is dead

ONE of Uganda’s last surviving sports heroes is dead. He was 58 years old.<br>Leo Rwabwogo, winner of two Olympic medals, collapsed and died while tending to his garden in Rugongo village, Kabarole district yesterday.
Vision Reporter
Journalist @ New vision
ONE of Uganda’s last surviving sports heroes is dead. He was 58 years old.
Leo Rwabwogo, winner of two Olympic medals, collapsed and died while tending to his garden in Rugongo village, Kabarole district yesterday.
By James Bakama

ONE of Uganda’s last surviving sports heroes is dead. He was 58 years old.
Leo Rwabwogo, winner of two Olympic medals, collapsed and died while tending to his garden in Rugongo village, Kabarole district yesterday.

Rwabwogo, is the only Ugandan to have won two Olympic medals. As a flyweight boxer in 1968 he won a bronze at the Mexico Games.

He improved on the feat with silver four years later at the Munich edition of the prestigious event.

By press time yesterday a burial date was yet to be fixed for the retired fighter who lived in Mbagane village. A nephew Charles Kagaba said burial would be in Mbagane on Kijura road on the outskirts of Fort Portal town.

Rwabwogo’s bronze in Mexico City made him the first Ugandan to make it to the Olympic medal podium. He was followed a day later by bantamweight Eridad Mukwanga who won silver. Mukwanga died in 1997.

John “The Beast” Mugabi has the only other Olympic boxing medal –– a silver he won at the 1980 games in Moscow.
John Akii-Bua, a 400m hurdles gold medallist in 1972 and Davis Kamoga, a 1996 Atlanta 400m bronze medallist, are the other Olympic medallists.

Uganda Amateur Boxing Federation secretary David Kyambadde, who was one of the deceased’s contemporaries in the ring, said it was a great loss.

“It’s tragic. He is not only an irreplaceable talent but also a cornerstone in the sport,” Kyambadde said on hearing the news.

Kyambadde said Rwabwogo’s death had hit the sport hard at a time when efforts were in progress to revive it.
“He was a source of inspiration, reference and wisdom,” noted Kyambadde.

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