Russian Olympic torchbearer dies of heart attack after carrying flame

BY newsdesk  December 16, 2013 at 5:37 PM EDT

Photo by Flickr user LindsayEvette

A Russian man carrying the Olympic flame on a leg before the Sochi 2014 Winter Games died after suffering a heart attack on the route, an official told Reuters Monday.

Vadim Gorbenko, a 73-year-old sports school director and Greco-Roman wrestling coach, reportedly felt ill after walking 500 feet with the torch in his home city of Kurgan, Russia.

“He returned to the gathering place and was photographed, then he said he was not feeling well and was taken to hospital, but the doctors were unable to save him,” Roman Osin, a spokesman for the torch relay, said. “We express our deepest condolences to his loved ones.”

Gorbenko had suffered two heart attacks in the past. He was conscious when emergency personnel took him to the hospital and spoke to his son before he died, Reuters reported.

H/T Sam Lane