World of Sport

95-year-old ‘Belgian Bolt’ holds big party before ending life by euthanasia

World of Sport

Last year it gave us great pleasure to bring the video of one of the greatest sprint races we had ever seen between Ilmari Koppinen and Emiel Pauwels in the over 90s, 65 metre race at the Veteran Games.

You can watch the video again above – it truly was one for the ages with the 94-year-old 'Belgian Bolt' Pauwels winning the race with an Usain-esque burst near the finish seeing him take a superb victory from the jaws of defeat.

Now some sad news comes from Belgium - Pauwels, now 95, has ended his life by euthanasia because he was suffering from cancer.

However, much like in his famous race that went viral last year, he finished in style.

In his hometown of Bruges he held a big party with friends and family two days before his death – and even downed two glasses of champagne for the occasion.

Pauwels looked like he was ready to run another race but wanted to end his life before the cancer really got a hold of him.

His son Eddy told Belgian television that he 'agreed 110 per cent' with his father's decision to end his own life.

Pauwels also won the 200m, the triple jump and the shot put in the 90+ class at the Veteran Games last year, although he was the only person to compete in each of those events.

Euthanasia is legal in Belgium and about 1,400 take up the option each year.

Whatever your opinion on the practice – which is completely illegal in the UK - this was no doubt a man who lived life to the fullest until the end.

His hometown of Bruges have said they plan to name a street after him.

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