London 2012 Olympic wrestler Keitani Graham, a Micronesia sports hero and role model has died in Chuuk, according to reports from Honolulu, Hawaii.
Chuuk Govenor Johnson Elimo, who is a cousin of Graham, confirmed the death today, to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
He was unable confirm the cause of death but was told that Graham suffered a heart attack early Friday in Chuuk.
The 32 years old, had competed in Greco-Roman wrestling at the ExCeL Centre this summer, representing the Federated States of Micronesia. He lost in a 185-pound qualifying match to Charles Betts of the United States.
He was executive director of Ship/Hoops, a non-profit organization on Chuuk that created educational and sports opportunities for children. Graham was also a key figure in a group building a school in Chuuk.
“We just opened a small school and the plan is to add a grade a year till we have a full school, but this all depends on funding and finding qualified teachers,” Graham said in an interview with the Star-Advertiser during the Olympics.
“I think improving things at home will also help improve things abroad for Chuukese and I’m glad there are many Micronesian individuals and groups out there in Hawaii and Guam that are also taking on the problems and issues and working on improving things.”
Elimo told the newspaper that Graham was a community leader destined for great things.
“This is sad not only for the family but also all of Chuuk, especially the youths who look up to this spectacular individual as their role model,” he wrote.