English | Dzongkha Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Chimi Dema, First Bhutanese woman to complete the TOD

Sep 13, 2019

Chimi Dema, the 23-year-old, recently became the first Bhutanese woman to complete the tough and unforgiving ultra-marathon mountain bike race known as “The Tour of the Dragon” and even managed to come in the second place.

As a young girl growing up in Thimphu, she discovered her zeal in sports when she won her first medal in an open marathon race in 2013.  Ever since then, she has been a keen runner and a cyclist.

The certificates and medals in Chimi’s room are a testimony to her success that she worked for so long in the face of such adversity as “The Tour of the Dragon”. As a student, Chimi struggled to keep up with her studies as she had to draw a thin line between sports and studies. Her parents never doubted her talent as an athlete and constantly pushed to her limits for her to succeed both in studies and sports.

” As a father, I never had a doubt that she would not complete the Tour of the dragon cycle race because she did her own share of training. For the last one month, she has trained vigorously cycling to Haa and Wangdue. I never had a doubt in her regarding cycling and running because she gives her hundred per cent. The most memorable thing that has happened to me as a father is when she graduated from her college balancing both studies and sports,” said Karma Tobgay, the Father of Chimi.

Likewise, Chimi’s motto in life is all about hard work and dedication. As an athlete, she even formed a running club in Thimphu called “Druk Running Club” last year.

“There are challenges and risks involved in cycling and running. Hard work and dedication are the key reasons for my success so far. It was hard for me to balance between my studies and sports. I recently graduated and even during high school time, I was a science student. But if we are hard working and dedicated towards something that we are passionate about, It suffices. What boys can do, even we girls can do it. And If I can do it, every girl can do it. There is nothing impossible. If we are physically fit, we are mentally fit. And also I would really love to thank His Majesty for His continuous support as well,” she said.

BBS talked to some close friends of the cyclist. All the same, her hard working manners stood out in the talk.

“She never gives up and she encourages others in due process. She encourages many people like us to take up sports and informs people of the advantages,” shares Karma Zamba Wang, her friend.

“I think she is an inspiration to many children out there and basically the small girls who are aspiring to become an athlete themselves. She has opened a lot of door to the younger generation.  She has done a lot of impossible. She has completed lots and lots of marathon becoming the first Bhutanese woman to complete the recent race that they had. She loves to give back to the community as a whole,” added Sonam Tobgay, also her friend.

As for now, the cyclist hopes to encourage youth to participate in running and cycling as much as possible through her club and through social media. She expects to join a sports organization in the near future by profession.

Tshering Dendup

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