Most Shared

Sports

Sports

 
text size

Runner's Scars Tell Of A Survivor's Story

Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 09:47 PM CDT

Gilbert Tuhabonye is one of the most popular running coaches in Austin, but how he got to Texas is a path of hope.

“It’s a part of my history. It’s a part of who I am,” Tuhabonye said.

The scars that nearly cover his entire body tell a survivor’s story.

“Running helped me overcome obstacles,” Tuhabonye said. “I almost lost my life, I almost died.”

He was born and raised in Burundi, Africa, a small nation plagued by civil war and political tribes battling for power.

On October 21, 1993 Gilbert found himself in the middle of the country’s unrest.

“That day the Hutu president was assassinated by Tutsi extremist,” Tuhabonye said. “In act of retaliation the Hutu came to my school and locked up everybody they could find.”

Tuhabonye and 200 of his classmates were kidnapped, taken to a gas station, locked inside, and the building was set on fire. The flames scorched for eight hours while Tuhabonye hid under a pile of dead bodies. He was the only one to escape.

“I had to use something to break the window so I could run free,” Tuhabonye said. “I used a dead body, someone that I knew, and I broke the window and was able to run.”

He kept running.  Despite third-degree burns all over his body, Tuhabonye earned a track scholarship to Abilene Christian University where he became a national champion. In 2008 Olympics he carried the torch while representing his native country.

“The emotion that I went through carrying the Olympic torch, the fire that burned me few years back, and now I have the fire in my hands,” Tuhabonye said.

Now living in Austin, he does everything he can to give back to his tribe. He started the Gazelle Foundation and the proceeds build water projects in Burundi. The largest annual fundraiser, Run for the Water, has helped 16,000 people get clean drinking water.

“You've seen all my scars. I don't have scars in my heart because I forgive,” Tuhabonye said. “Running for me is my therapy, it’s my freedom.”

That’s because he’s been running his entire life.

By Cassie GalloRunner's Scars Tell Of A Survivor's Story


Advertise with us!

Scores & Schedules

October 20, 2014 07:12 GMT

NFL

Thursday's Game

New England 27, N.Y. Jets 25

Sunday's Games

St. Louis 28, Seattle 26

Miami 27, Chicago 14

Green Bay 38, Carolina 17

Baltimore 29, Atlanta 7

Washington 19, Tennessee 17

Jacksonville 24, Cleveland 6

Indianapolis 27, Cincinnati 0

Buffalo 17, Minnesota 16

Detroit 24, New Orleans 23

Kansas City 23, San Diego 20

Arizona 24, Oakland 13

Dallas 31, N.Y. Giants 21

Denver 42, San Francisco 17

Open: Philadelphia, Tampa Bay

Monday's Game

Houston at Pittsburgh, 8:30 p.m.

NBA PRESEASON

Sunday's Games

Boston 95, Brooklyn 90

Minnesota 112, Oklahoma City 94

Chicago 101, Charlotte 96

Houston 90, Golden State 83

L.A. Lakers 98, Utah 91

Monday's Games

New Orleans vs. Washington at Baltimore, MD, 7 p.m.

Chicago vs. Cleveland at Columbus, OH, 7 p.m.

Philadelphia at Brooklyn, 7:30 p.m.

Milwaukee at New York, 7:30 p.m.

Charlotte at Atlanta, 7:30 p.m.

Memphis at Dallas, 8:30 p.m.

Sacramento at San Antonio, 8:30 p.m.

NHL

Sunday's Games

Los Angeles 2, Minnesota 1

N.Y. Rangers 4, San Jose 0

Calgary 4, Winnipeg 1

Anaheim 3, St. Louis 0

Monday's Games

Tampa Bay at Edmonton, 9:30 p.m.

MLS

Sunday's Games

Columbus 3, New York 1

Los Angeles 2, Seattle FC 2, tie

Longhorn Football Scoreboard

Longhorn Football News

 

KEYE-TV Sports Team


Advertise with us!