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A Ugandan Weightlifter Has Gone Missing At The Olympics, Leaving Behind a Note Saying He Wanted To Start a New Life In Japan

Dean Mouhtaropoulos. Getty Images.

Reuters

An Ugandan weightlifter who went missing from an Olympic training camp on Friday left a note saying he wanted to stay in Japan, media reports said, adding to confusion ahead of the Games which begin next week.

Julius Ssekitoleko was discovered missing from the Ugandan team's training site in Izumisano, a city in Osaka, western Japan. Media reports said he left behind a note saying he wanted to stay and work in Japan, as life in Uganda was difficult.

We've got a pretty crazy story unfolding over in Japan as we near the beginning of the Summer Olympics. A Ugandan weightlifter, who was set to head back home in just a few days after failing to qualify, has gone missing in Tokyo. Doesn't seem like he was kidnapped or anything, nope this dude was just done with life in Uganda and looking for a fresh start. He left behind a note saying he wanted to stay in Japan because life back home was too difficult. Don't really blame him when you read up on what's going on over there these days. He told his teammates to give his belongings to his wife back home and then peaced out. This comes as the Olympics were already under fire for continuing with the games as covid-19 numbers spike across the city. Now an athlete has broke out of the bubble and is god knows where. Great start people. 

First and foremost, I hope this guy is safe and sound. I did read that a Ugandan rep was able to reach him by phone yesterday, but that rep was unable to obtain any new info. At least that's a positive sign that he's doing somewhat okay. All that's known is he bought an express train ticket to Nagoya which is about 3 hours away. Could that be to throw everyone off or is that where he's actually headed? If it's the latter then I don't love this man's chances of remaining on the run. 

There's currently an all out search party for this dude right now as tournament organizers scramble to get this event ready to begin. Considering he left that note it appears like he's trying to seek asylum, which from my understanding is pretty common during the olympic games since you have athletes coming over from all sorts of countries. That being said, it feels like he's not going to blend in the best in Japan considering he's this massive weight lifter olympian man. This man is in a giant game of hide and seek with the country of Japan right now. I wish him the best of luck and that this attempt at a fresh start turns successful. Let's just hope we get a safe ending here.