RIO 2016

Sinphet Kruaithong’s Grandmother Dies While Watching Him Win Bronze Medal

An Olympian’s big win turned bittersweet Monday when his grandmother died while watching him receive the bronze medal.

Thai weightlifter Sinphet Kruaithong, who competed in the 56-kilogram division of the sport, found out his 84-year-old grandmother, Subin Khongthap, died at a viewing party at the Kruaithong family home in Ban Phon Muang of Chumphon Buri district. According to reports, Khongthap regained consciousness five minutes later but was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Thai police believe the cause of death is heart failure but won’t know for sure until the results come back.

“The initial assumption is that she died from heart failure—but we have to wait for the hospital’s result,” Somwang Prangprakoan, a police officer in the Surin province, told Agence France-Presse. “I’m not sure if she was too excited, or if maybe she was already ill.”

Local media interviewed the excited matriarch in the days prior to her grandson’s competition. “I cheer him on, fight fight! I miss my grandson and want him to be successful,” she said, according to The Telegraph. “He does this for the country to bring the gold medal back.”

Kruaithong placed third behind China’s Long Qingquan and North Korea’s Om Yun Chol.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Kruaithong’s family.



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