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Runner's Scars Tell Of A Survivor's Story

Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 10:47 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


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Scores & Schedules

December 18, 2014 08:09 GMT

NBA

Wednesday's Games

Phoenix 111, Charlotte 106

Atlanta 127, Cleveland 98

Utah 105, Miami 87

Dallas 117, Detroit 106

Boston 109, Orlando 92

Toronto 105, Brooklyn 89

Memphis 117, San Antonio 116,3OT

Portland 104, Milwaukee 97

L.A. Clippers 102, Indiana 100

Houston 115, Denver 111, OT

Thursday's Games

New York at Chicago, 8 p.m.

New Orleans at Houston, 8:30 p.m.

Milwaukee at Sacramento, 10 p.m.

Oklahoma City at Golden State, 10:30 p.m.

NHL

Wednesday's Games

Ottawa 2, New Jersey 0

Boston 3, Minnesota 2, OT

Dallas 2, Vancouver 0

Thursday's Games

Florida at Philadelphia, 7 p.m.

Colorado at Pittsburgh, 7 p.m.

Toronto at Carolina, 7 p.m.

Washington at Columbus, 7 p.m.

Anaheim at Montreal, 7:30 p.m.

St. Louis at Los Angeles, 10:30 p.m.

Edmonton at San Jose, 10:30 p.m.

NFL

Thursday, Dec. 18

Tennessee at Jacksonville, 8:25 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 20

Philadelphia at Washington, 4:30 p.m.

San Diego at San Francisco, 8:25 p.m.

Sunday, Dec. 21

Baltimore at Houston, 1 p.m.

Detroit at Chicago, 1 p.m.

Atlanta at New Orleans, 1 p.m.

Minnesota at Miami, 1 p.m.

Cleveland at Carolina, 1 p.m.

Green Bay at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m.

Kansas City at Pittsburgh, 1 p.m.

New England at N.Y. Jets, 1 p.m.

N.Y. Giants at St. Louis, 4:05 p.m.

Buffalo at Oakland, 4:25 p.m.

Indianapolis at Dallas, 4:25 p.m.

Seattle at Arizona, 8:30 p.m.

Monday, Dec. 22

Denver at Cincinnati, 8:30 p.m.

Longhorn Football Scoreboard

Longhorn Football News

 

KEYE-TV Sports Team


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