Bhutanese Olympic athletes shared their views on how Bhutan can improve and bring home medals in the coming Olympics.
Lenchu Kunzang, the shooter, said that in order to win in the Olympics, the most important thing needed is endless physical and mental training and a good diet. She added that casual practice will not cut it anymore even if there are only 2 to 3 regular players in shooting in Bhutan.
“To compare with other countries, they (athletes) practice everyday, in a form of competition with maximum shooters, that’s why they don’t feel any differences during the competition. Whereas, for me, the moment I hear the word competition, it frightens me, so I feel that there should be ample competitions held while training to get mentally prepared,” said Kunzang.
Kunzang also said that she has been improving a lot in every competition, and that she is confident enough that she can bring home a medal in the next Olympics.
Judoka Ngawang Namgyel said that one has to train vigorously, work on weaknesses, focus on every small details to compete. He further added that the players lack nutritional diet and sometimes also lack a training partner.
Swimmer Sangay Tenzin said that if Bhutan has to win a medal, then firstly,a sports based academy should be established and that players should be given more exposure on the sports in a competitive level.
“Even though I started swimming at the age of 8, I had no exposure to swimming competition until I was selected as the first swimmer from Bhutan in 2019. Training in other country is tough, but beneficial, I have progressed in a short span of time which I think would not have been possible if I was trained in Bhutan because of lack of Olympic size pool which will be established soon,” said Sangay.
Archer Karma said that she has gone under training in cold winters and rain sometimes since Bhutan lacks indoor training halls. Athletes have to be dedicated and practice everyday in order to win in the Olympics.
Jamyang Namgyel, CDM ( Chef De Mission) of the Bhutan Olympic Committee (BOC) said that current state of sports in the country is at the basic level, and to compete at the Olympic level or any international level, Bhutan needs to have elite athletes for which BOC is building a base and focusing on grass root program from where the talents can be identified, after which the player can be groomed and put in an elite program level.
CDM said that it will still take some years for the BOC to build the podium, whereby the players can win medals, and meanwhile, there is a need to focus on elite sports in such a way that they can compete against Olympic level. He reemphasized that in order to win Olympic medals in future, there is need of elite athletes, and to have elite athletes, there is need of a good sports program.
Sports Research and Development Division from BOC is coming up with elite sports program, which can happen within the country using the services provided by other countries.