Nepali Olympic Committee Awards to 6 Athletes, Including 2 Swimmers

The Nepali Olympic Committee has announced that it is awarding scholarships to 6 of its brightest hopes for the 2016 Olympic Games: a list that includes two swimmers (the only sport with multiple recipients). Each of the 6 will receive $670 per month.

In the South Asian country, most famous for its connection to Mt. Everest, the average annual Gross National Income was just $730 in 2013 – the most recent data available from the World Bank – as compared to the scholarships that award $670 per month.

Nepal has never won an officially recognized Olympic medal, in summer or winter games, despite participating at 12 and 4, respectively, in the country’s history. In 1924, Tejbir Bura won a gold medal in “mixed alpinism” at the Winter Olympics, but this was an era where teams were often made of athletes from different nationalities, and Nepal is not credited with it. Bidhan Lama also won a bronze in taekwondo in 1988, but that year, taekwondo was just an exhibition sport, meaning it too doesn’t go on the official medals table.

The two swimmers represented are Sofia Shah and Sirish Gurung – two of the four swimmers who represented the country at the 2014 Asian Games. Gurung swam in the 50 free (27.23 – 35th/42) and 100 free (58.72 – 32nd/39) in Incheon.

Shah is a swimmer of Danish-Nepalese ancestry who raced at the 2013 World Championships with a 30.16 in the 50 free and a 2:31.79 in the 200 free at 15 years old. Her times back-slid a bit in 2014, going just 31.72 in the 50 free at the Asian Games.

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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