On Aug. 8, Thierry Essamba suffered a setback — another setback. Just as in 2014, he was again forbidden from competing because of his sexual orientation. The fact that he is the fastest hurdler in Cameroon — the nation’s record-holder in the 110-meter hurdles — didn’t secure him the right to compete again for the gold.
He recalls his emotions as the Central Africa Track and Field Championships got under way: “I felt so bad. I wondered if I were no longer a Cameroonian...I felt someone had just thrown me out of Cameroon. I cried. I felt excluded from the country that I love so much. “
Much has happened since Essamba was expelled from the squad by Michel Nkolo, the technical director of Cameroon’s national track team. Soon afterward, Essamba’s family evicted him from his home. He was left with no means of support. He fell into depression and tried to commit suicide. But he did not do that — and he did not give up on racing. He kept training. He ran faster. Read More via 76 Crimes