Awori: An Olympian of great distinction

Special Man: Awori represented Uganda at the 1960 and 1964 Olympic Games in Rome, Italy and Tokyo, Japan respectively. PHOTO/AGENCIES

What you need to know:

  • By the time he graduated from Harvard, Awori held three outdoor and five indoor school records.

Aggrey Awori is one of the few Ugandan athletes to have represented the country at the Olympics. In his heyday the sprinter-turned politician went to the 1960 and 1964 Olympics in Italy and Japan respectively.

Awori, 82, died on Monday bringing an end to the life of one of Uganda’s greatest sprinters. In Rome, he did the 100m, 110m hurdles and the 4 x 100m relay.
Four years later in Tokyo where this year’s Olympics will be held, Awori dropped the 100m for the 200m race. The only thing that missed for his gallery were medals.

He also went to the 1962 and 1966 Commonwealth Games in Australia and Jamaica correspondingly.

A multi-talented athlete, Awori became the first person in heptagonal track history to win three events - the long jump, high hurdles, and 60-yard dash while at the prestigious Harvard University in 1961-65.

He tied the heptagonal record in the hurdles and setting the mark in the dash. He also ran on the victorious mile relay team that tied the heptagonal record.

In his first year of the scholarship, first year he took nuclear physics in the first year, but then switched over to political economics.

By the time he graduated from Harvard, Awori held three outdoor and five indoor school records. After 1967, Awori worked as a director at the state-owned Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC).

In 1971 Awori was jailed for two months after Idi Amin’s coup, because during Amin’s first coup attempt he didn’t broadcast a speech Amin gave, lying to him by saying that they were live on air.

He later served a Constituent Assembly (CA) delegate, Member of Parliament (MP) and cabinet minister in the current government.

Aggrey Awori fact-file
Born: February 23, 1939
Died: July 5, 2021 (Age 82
High school education: Nabumali High School and King’s College Budo
University education: Harvard University (BA, political economics), Syracuse University (MA, economics)
Occupation: Economist, politician
Sports: Represented Uganda at the 1960 and 1964 Olympic Games
Specialty: Sprint races (100m, 200m, 110m hurdles, 4 x 100m relay)