Meamea Thomas, 25-year-old gold medallist weightlifter from Kiribati, was tragically killed during a heroic rescue act in his home country, saving the life of a fellow countryman. Paul Coffa, General Secretary, Oceania Weightlifting Federation (OWF) wrote a fitting tribute to Meamea Thomas in a special OWF news release. To see the entire tribute, with photos of Meamea, click on the PDF Link below.
The entire text of the tribute is as follows:
MEAMEA THOMAS 1987-2013
"25 year old Meamea Thomas –Kiribati, a former Institute lifter, 2004 Olympic representative, 2004 Oceania Champion, 2003 Pacific Games gold medallist, 2009 Mini Games Gold medallist, 2011 Pacific Games silver medallist and last year Oceania Champion, was tragically killed in his home country of Kiribati as he tried to save the life of a fellow countryman.
In a last second heroic effort, Meamea Thomas, as he walked along the side of the road, pushed a fellow Kiribati riding a bicycle to safety, to avoid a speeding vehicle headed towards the cyclist. Very sadly Meamea did not have enough time himself to get away and was tragically struck and killed instantly. The occupants of the car were all drunk including the driver.
A tragedy for his family, a tragedy for Kiribati and a tragedy for the sport of weightlifting. A very talented athlete taken in the prime of his life. Our heartfelt sympathies goes to his family, the Kiribati National Olympic Committee and the Kiribati Weightlifting family."