The Faceless Hero: Nepal’s only Olympic Gold Medalist

Almost immediately following the grand conclusion of the London Olympics on August 12, formal preparations for the Rio Olympiad 2016 began. And in countries around the world, athletes have returned and will soon begin to take stock of their respective performances–the highlights, the low points. Unfortunately for Nepalis, like most Olympiads before this, we don’t have much to boast about this time, in terms of performance or medals.

Official records show Nepal’s Olympic medal count to be, so far, at zero, with only an honorable mention for Bidhan Lama, who won bronze in Taekwondo, when it had been included as a demonstration sport in the 1988 Olympics in Seoul.

Few, however, know that a Nepali has won a gold medal at the Olympics. The feat had taken place way back in 1924, when the first ever Winter Games was organised in Chamonix, France. The man was Tejbir Bura, a Nepali national from the Gurkha regiment, who had received a gold medal in Alpinism. Bura and his accomplishments have, sadly, remained unknown, a fault that can be attributed to poor recordkeeping among other factors.

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