Seychelles’ Most Decorated Weightlifter, Steven Baccus, Retires At 42

Seychelles’ most-decorated athlete in the 40-year history of the Indian Ocean Island Games (IOIG), Steven Baccus, has announced he is retiring from weightlifting.

The 42-year-old weightlifter said he is retiring from the sport that brought him fame and glory for medical reasons.

At the IOIG, Baccus won three gold medals each of the six times he participated in the Games, bringing his total medal count to 18.

After winning three golds at the 2019 Indian Ocean Island Games in Mauritius, Baccus qualified for the All Africa Games (AAG) in Morocco. He, however, could not participate in the tournament after injuring his back during training.

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Baccus said when he first complained of the pain in his back, the doctors after some checkups assured him he could still compete in the Games. But three days after, the pain came back sharper and he had to drop out of the competition and return to Seychelles.

Back at home, he went for a CT scan and was informed he had two slipped discs.

“The doctor told me that I can still do weightlifting but if I do the situation will become worse. He advised me to stop entirely,” said Baccus.

“It is not easy after all this time to just stop. I would have liked to retire slowly from international competition but participate locally and have time to encourage more young people.”

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Baccus, who is a trained firefighter with the Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority, started weightlifting at age 17. He participated in the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta, competing in the men’s 83 kg event and finishing in 16th position.

He participated at the Indian Ocean Island Games for the first time in 1998 and has come out victorious in all editions of the IOIG since then.

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