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Olympian’s Grandmother Dies While Watching Him Win a Bronze Medal

Complex logo Complex 10/08/2016 Gavin Evans
Olympian’s Grandmother Dies While Watching Him Win a Bronze Medal © Olympian’s Grandmother Dies While Watching Him Win a Bronze Medal Olympian’s Grandmother Dies While Watching Him Win a Bronze Medal

A triumphant Olympic moment turned into a really sad moment within a matter of just minutes on Monday when an Olympian's grandmother died while watching him win a bronze medal during a weightlighting competition. Thai woman Subin Khongthap, the 84-year-old grandmother of Thai weightlifter Sinphet Kruithong​, died as her 20-year-old grandson earned a bronze medal in the 56 kg weightlifting division at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Khongthap was watching Kruithong compete live on a massive projector that was put up in Kruithong's home village in the northeastern Surin province in Thailand. According to reports, she collapsed shortly after watching her grandson successfully throw up a weight, which led to a tragic scene during what was obviously supposed to be a festive celebratory event. After the crowd realized what was going on, Khongthap was taken to a hospital 210 miles away where she was later pronounced dead.

"The initial assumption is that she died from heart failure, but we have to wait for the hospital's result," a local police spokesperson said. "I'm not sure if she was too excited or if maybe she was already ill."

Just days before the competition, Khongthap did an interview and talked about how she planned to cheer her grandson on. "I cheer him on, fight, fight!" she said. "I miss my grandson and want him to be successful. He does this for the country to bring the gold medal back."

Kruithong won the country's second medal of the 2016 Olympics with his third-place finish and now holds the prestigious distinction of being the first Thai man to ever medal in an Olympic weightlifting event.

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