“I was a very good sprinter when I was in school. I participated in national level games and even won a bronze medal once. I also took part in regional games and was a champion. When I was younger I wanted to be an army officer. I didn’t make the cut after the interview, so I found myself in a career in Health and Physical Education. I worked as a PE teacher and volunteer coach before being chosen to train in Para-athletics at a Japanese sports university. On my return from the training, I started a short term Para-athletic program in the country. We have a very prominent accessibility issue for people in wheelchairs in Para-athletics, so it was easier to start with short stature who didn’t face this problem. With this, we were able to take part in the Tokyo games. That was one of our first achievements on the Paralympic committee. I believe that my teaching experience and skills as a physical education teacher greatly helped me in coaching athletes with disabilities. I never thought I’d be a coach for para-athletes but the many opportunities that lined up have brought me here and I’m glad.

The Paralympic movement was not very popular when it started. Those of us involved had to advocate a lot. Now with time, a lot of people are more informed. We’ve also been able to draw people into the committee including athletes. Two of our short stature Paralympics, Chimi and Gyeltshen also came to us through the advocacy program. Currently, we are unable to provide them with a salary but we do try to give them a diet allowance. People with disabilities often feel discouraged to move forward in life. But there are a lot of new opportunities always coming up. As a coach who has seen many incredible people with disabilities, I say, you can do anything with an enthusiastic mindset.”

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