Olympic Flame Torchbearer Dies of Heart Attack

Torchbearer dies of heart attack as the Olympic flame makes its way to Sochi

  • Share
  • Read Later
Michalis Karagiannis / Getty Images

Handing over of the Olympic Flame during the Olympic Torch Handover Ceremony, on October 05, 2013 in Athens, Greece

A torchbearer died of a heart attack on Monday after carrying the Olympic flame in the relay leading up to the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, an official said.

Vadim Gorbenko, 73, a director at a sports school and a Greco-Roman wrestling coach, said he felt ill after carrying the torch 500 feet in his home town of Kurgan in western Siberia. He was taken to the hospital where he died of a heart attack, Reuters reports. Gorbenok, who was a top Russian wrestler earlier in his life, had reportedly suffered two heart attacks in the past.

This is only the latest in a series of difficulties in Sochi’s Olympic relay. The flame has gone out dozens of times and last month, a torchbearer’s jacket caught on fire. The torch, which began its journey with President Vladimir Putin in Red Square on Oct. 6, is set to arrive in Sochi on Feb. 7.