… Tandin Wangchen retires with a Gold Medal from the World Championship

Thinley Namgay

For Bhutanese bodybuilder Tandin Wangchen, the preparation for the World Bodybuilding and Physique Sports Championship 2023 held recently in South Korea was one of the most gruelling and challenging times in his entire career as a professional body-builder.

It was going to be his last shot at an international competition. So, Tandin Wangchen endured and persevered more determined than ever.

In a day, he had to engage in two hours of strength training, and an hour of cardio each in the morning and evening consuming only 1,800 calories.  This daily routine for several months before the competition made him starve and tired all the time.

With the single objective to grab a gold medal, he worked hard for a perfect ending to his 15 years of bodybuilding career.

During the competition on November 11,  he had not eaten for 18 hours and nearly collapsed backstage while pumping. But the result was worth all of the sweat and sacrifices.

Tandin Wangchen, 46,  from Paro, won a  gold medal in the athletic physique 182cm category. He surpassed opponents from 48 countries.

After competing in many Asian, South Asian, and World Championships in the past 15 years, Tandin was able to bag a gold medal for the country. “This gold medal is very significant for me as I have been trying to become a World Champion for the past 15 years.”

With this gold medal, he is retiring from the bodybuilding competition. However, he said, he will continue training and help upcoming athletes to perform better and help others to lead a healthy lifestyle.

Tandin believes in striving for excellence through hard work, commitment and with good intentions. “Any work carried out with good intention will always be rewarded.”

It was a proud and emotional moment for him when the national anthem was presented in front of athletes and delegates from 48 countries. It was also an opportunity to promote Bhutan.

The main challenge for bodybuilders according to Tandin is time, money, and commitment.  “Time, money and commitment are closely related. We can’t expect to do well without one of these.”

He believes in timely support from family, and a concerned sports body  to become a champion.

“My deepest love and appreciation to everyone for showering me with best wishes and blessings,” he said.

For the past 23 years, Tandin Wangchen has been helping people to train, eat a balanced diet and lead a healthy lifestyle.

Of the three Bhutanese bodybuilders who participated in the recent championship, Kinley Penjor stood fourth in the fitness physique 170cm category, and Sonam Phuntsho came fifth in the bodybuilding 65kg category.