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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center

With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i


FSM Mourns Death Of Olympic Wrestler From Chuuk
Keitani Graham, 32, put up a good fight in London

By Jerick Sablan

HAGTA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, Dec. 8, 2012) – The Federated States of Micronesia is mourning the death of Chuuk Olympic wrestler Keitani Graham.

Graham, a Micronesia sports hero and role mode, died in Chuuk on Friday, according to his cousin Will Stinnett. He was 32. The cause of his death wasn’t disclosed.

Graham was the first Olympic wrestler from the FSM, according to Jim Tobin, secretary general of the FSM National Olympic Committee.

Graham competed in Greco-Roman wrestling in the Olympics this past summer in London, representing the Federated States of Micronesia. He lost in a 185-pound qualifying match to Charles Edward Betts of the United States.

Tobin watched the match and said Graham put up a good fight. Betts is a world champion and he had a hard time defeating Graham in the match, Tobin said.

Tobin said Graham’s passing is a great loss to the athletic community in the FSM.

"He was one of the greatest athletes the FSM has ever had," Tobin said.

Tobin said Graham was a role model for the youth in the FSM. Graham wasn’t only an Olympian wrestler, but he was a great basketball player and track and field player, as well. His love for sports and his desire to teach the youth of FSM will be greatly missed, Tobin said.

Tobin said whenever Graham walked into a room people would smile. He was very humble and had an outgoing personality and was very dedicated.

The National Olympic Committee extends their condolences to his family in Chuuk and will support them in this tragic time, he said.

Stinnett said he and Graham grew up together and played basketball together in Chuuk. He said it was a shock to hear of his sudden passing.

"He was healthy and had a bright future in fornt of him," he said.

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