… Dechen Peldon receives silver

Thinley Namgay

Nima Yoezer, 17, a trainee at the Draktsho Vocational Training Centre for Special Children and Youth, clinched his second gold medal for the country in the 100 meters (m) race on June 24 at the Special Olympics held in Berlin, Germany.

He emerged victorious, surpassing runners from seven other countries. Nima Yoezer hails from Trashigang and is currently training in art and painting at Draktsho, Thimphu.

Nima secured his first gold medal on June 22 in the shot put event. On that day, he outperformed athletes from Spain and Uzbekistan.

“Nima Yoezer said that he was thrilled to receive two medals and will work even harder hereafter to perform well on the international stage,” shared Nima’s spokesperson.

Out of the four athletes from Draktsho who participated in the competition, 19-year-old Dechen Peldon managed to secure a silver medal in women’s shot put on June 22.

Dechen had a chance to win a medal in the 100m race as well. She was leading the race until misfortune struck her, causing her to fall just 25m before the finishing line.

Four athletes and three officials landed in Germany on June 11 for the tournament, which was scheduled between June 17 and 25.

Deki Zam, the Executive Director of Draktsho, said, “We are so proud to be coming home with two gold medals by Nima and a silver by Dechen.”

Zam also highlighted that the remarkable performance of the four athletes with intellectual disabilities at the Special Olympics would serve as an inspiration and reflect their talents and aspirations.

The Special Olympics is the world’s largest sports organisation which provides a year-round sports and fitness training programme for individuals with intellectual disabilities in 172 countries globally.

Bhutan has participated in the Special Olympics four times so far. The country made its debut in 2011 in Greece, where athletes won gold. Bhutan also secured medals at the Los Angeles Games in 2015 and in 2019 in the United Arab Emirates.

The event takes place every four years and stands as the largest Olympic event for individuals with intellectual disabilities.

This year, Germany hosted 7,000 athletes from around 170 countries, competing in 24 sports. The event involved over 3,000 coaches and 20,000 volunteers.