DHARAMSHALA: Choeyang, the first Tibetan athlete to compete in the Olympic Games made history by winning the bronze medal in London yesterday.
The Associated Press (AP) reported that Tibetans watching the race cheered 21-year-old Choeyang in the 20 km Women’s Race Walking event.
“I’m extremely honored to take part as the first representative of the Tibetans at the Olympic Games and to win a medal,” AP quoted Choeyang as saying. She finished 14 seconds behind Russia’s Elena Lashmanova who set a world record at 1 hour, 25 minutes, 2 seconds.
Choeyang comes from a family of Tibetan herders in Tsochang in Tibet’s Amdo Province and started running as a kid on the Tibetan plateau and then joined a sports school.
“As an individual, we wish her well,” Dicki Chhoyang, Kalon for information and international relations of the Central Tibetan Administration, told AP in an interview. “She must have put in a lot of effort to reach there. But we are sad that she cannot represent a free Tibet.”
“China uses things like this for their political gain. The fact that a Tibetan is participating in the Olympics does not take away anything from the dire situation prevailing inside Tibet,” Kalon Dicki Chhoyang added.