Tuesday, April 16, 2024 | 15:17 WIB

Three Olympic medals – devotion to her country

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RIP Raema Lisa Rumbewas, weightlifter

Jakarta, IO – Indonesia is mourning the loss of the great Olympic medalist Raema Lisa Rumbewas, who passed away on Sunday, Jan 14, 2024, at 43 years of age. She was born in Jayapura, on Sept. 10, 1980. 

Lisa was an Indonesian woman weightlifter with illustrious achievements. She won three medals in three different Olympic Games: a silver in the women’s 48 kg class at Sydney 2000 and another silver at Athens 2004 in the women’s 53 kg. She won her third Olympic medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the 53 kg class – a bronze. 

Lisa only received her Beijing 2008 bronze medal recently, in 2017, because she was in fourth place, but was then awarded the bronze medal after Nastassia Novikova, who was in third place, tested positive for doping. 

Not only at the Olympics: Lisa also won a silver medal at the 2006 World Weightlifting Championships in San Domingo, a bronze medal at the 2002 Busan Asian Games, a bronze medal at the 2003 SEA Games in Hanoi, a silver medal at the 2005 SEA Games in Manila and a gold medal at the 2009 SEA Games in Vientiane. 

Lisa was born into a family of athletes. Her father, Levy Rumbewas, was one of Indonesia’s most prominent bodybuilders of his time. His mother, Aldamida “Ida” Korwa, was also a weightlifter. 

Lisa had lived with epilepsy since childhood. She once had an attack during the Athens Olympics; she fell unconscious before the match took place. “We were panicked. However, God allowed her to regain consciousness, and she managed to get a silver medal,” explained Ida. 

Lisa’s mother conveyed that Lisa had another attack on Jan 6. She fell and was unconscious because of a recurrence of epilepsy. Her family immediately took her to the Provita Jayapura Hospital. 

“It happened that she ran out of medicine. When her epilepsy relapsed, she was in her bedroom. She fell and lost consciousness, and her forehead was bleeding,” said Ida. 

After three days of hospitalization, on Monday afternoon, Lisa was transferred to Jayapura Regional Hospital, where she breathed her last breath. 

Ida recalled that Lisa had severe seizures, and the doctors had administered various medicines. “When she was in the hospital, it was found that she had a lung infection, and her albumin levels had also dropped.”

Mourning the loss of Indonesia’s sports star, Raja Sapta Oktohari, Chairman of the Indonesian National Olympic Committee (NOC), said, “We have lost a sports heroine, mentor and inspiration for many young athletes. Lisa Raema Rumbewas was not only an athlete with achievements but also a devoted, enthusiastic and esteemed fighter of Indonesia. Her passing is a big loss for the world of sports. Hopefully, her families will be given the strength and fortitude to face this difficult time.” 

Indonesian President Joko Widodo also expressed his condolences for Lisa’s passing on his Instagram account @jokowi on Sunday, Jan 14. “Indonesia has lost one of the nation’s best. An athlete with ceaseless commitment, who had written history for this country.” 

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“Prayers for strength and fortitude for the families left behind. May her services as a sports heroine always be remembered and inspire Indonesian athletes,” the president wrote. 

Farewell, Lisa Rumbewas, our sports heroine. Thank you for all your achievements and service to the country. Your devotion will always be remembered, and your achievements will be an inspiration for Indonesia’s young generation. (rp)

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