As the Olympics comes to an end, with the U.S taking home a total of 134 medals, the celebration was cut tragically short for fencing coach Anthony Buckie Leach, who died over the weekend after having returned home.
The USA Fencing team confirmed his death on Instagram, explaining that he was taking part in a cross-country trip via motorcycle over the weekend, and was involved in a tragic accident on Saturday.
In the photos shared on Instagram, Buckie Leach is seen celebrating a variety of victories.
"Our hearts are broken at the loss of US Women's Foil Team coach Buckie Leach just 2 weeks after leading the squad at his 5th Olympic Games," the organization said in a statement on Instagram. "A 2013 inductee into the USA Fencing Hall of Fame, Buckie passed away on Saturday night following a motorcycle accident on a cross-country road trip after his return from the Tokyo Olympic Games.
"Buckie was at the women's foil helm for 5 Olympic Games and 4 Senior World Championship team medals and his five-year coaching career at Notre Dame saw a dozen individual Championship foil medals in four NCAA appearances. But it was his heart, passion, and laughter that made Buckie one of the most beloved coaches in the sport."
"Our thoughts are with Buckie's family as well as the entire fencing community."
Notre Dame also shared a message following Leach's death and followed that up with statements from the head coach Gia Kvaratskhelia and the fencing team.
"The Notre Dame Fencing Family is heartbroken over the tragic passing of Buckie Leach. We lift our prayers for his sister, Kathy, as we join her in celebrating his life," they said.
But beyond praising him for his strength as a coach, they said: "But more important than all of these was how Buckie gave so richly and deeply of himself as a teacher, a coach, a leader, and a person. Every day he was with us, his kindness, decency, and humanity made us all better."
Leach began fencing at the age of twelve but started his coaching career at twenty, and was a coach for over forty years with his fencing students finding success nationally and internationally.
Rest in peace to a true hero.