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Former ACU track and field star featured in well-known publications

By Floyd Miller



Gilbert Tuhabonye’s story is one of great perseverance and triumph, and continues to receive media attention. Current issues of Texas Highways and Texas Monthly feature the former Abilene Christian University track and field star from Bujumbura, Burundi. Tuhabonye, who was a {{more}} national champion in track while still in high school, fell victim to ethnic purging 15 years ago, when the Hutu soldiers gathered the Tutsi students at his Christian boarding school, attacking the students with sticks and machetes and eventually lighting them and the school on fire.The only survivor of the attack on his school, Tuhabonye outran the Hutu soldiers armed with machetes after breaking out a sixth-floor window to escape the building. After years of recovery and training, Tuhabonye was recruited to ACU’s track and field team, and his story was retold in the Abilene Reporter-News, the Austin American-Statesman, Philadelphia Inquirer, USA Today and ACU Today. CNN and the BBC also aired stories about the runner. Tuhabonye currently coaches in Austin, where he lives with his wife Triphine and two daughters, Emma and Grace. He speaks English, French, Swahili and his native tongue, Kirunde.

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