English | Dzongkha Saturday, October 31, 2020

Norman Bücher in Bhutan- running for change

Feb 8, 2020

Running on foot across seven continents to seventy countries in seven years to find answers and concerns of young people around the world, the 7 Continents World Tour brings Norman Bücher in Bhutan.

A German extreme athlete and a global top speaker, Norman Bücher, embarked on this special journey to give young people around the world a voice. He will carry on his tour from Thimphu to Siliguri tomorrow.

Kick-starting his 7 Continents World Tour, he began the run from his homeland in May last year and completed his first stage in Europe. Embarking into the second stage, he completed Bangladesh and will continue to India and Nepal. Bhutan is his tenth country.

“It starts with my daughter who is nine years of age. And four years ago she asked me why do we adults do too less or almost nothing for the future generation. So that inspired me to do something and what I do best is running so I created that project to running but not running by myself but running to inspire people, listen to the young people,” said Norman Bücher.

Preparing for his run tomorrow, Norman starts his run from Buddha Point and covers 35 kilometres in Thimphu with other enthusiast runners. This is his second visit to Bhutan. During the first visit, he ran non-stop 265 kilometres from Trongsa to Paro Taktshang to raise funds for the Save the Children project in 2013. And seven years later, another important expedition brings him back to the country and this time, with a bigger purpose.

“My first visit, I was so fascinated and I said to my friends that I want to come back for a project. You have so wonderful people and you have amazing landscapes and wonderful nature and also His Majesty The King. So a lot of different things actually inspired me to come back,” he shares.

Norman takes on extreme sporting challenges and conducts his own expeditions all over the world. He said running is a medium to reach out to young people.

“Running, I would say is the basic movement for us, not in a car, not by bike not by motorcycle, just basically on foot. And it’s easy to get to know other people if you are not on a tourist bus. I am really close to the people when I am running and that’s what I love, to be in the street and not in a luxury hotel,” he added.

Within seven years, he plans to run through 70 countries on seven continents covering almost 20,000 kilometres. And while doing so, he will gather the wishes, thoughts and hopes of children and young people. And through the tour, he intends to give them a voice and plans to hand over the collected comments to the 79th United Nations General Assembly in New York in 2024.

“I think that everyone and every person can do change and there’s a sentence from a song of Michael Jackson, a man in the mirror, and he sings ‘if you want to make the world a better a place, take a look at yourself and then make a change.’ So I think that the change will start at every person. So you can ask yourself what I can do, not a big change may be a small step. So that’s what I want to bring it to the world and to other people.”

His 7 Continents World Tour will focus on topics such as education, globalisation, personal development, environment and the future. Through this tour, he expects to bring about a long term positive change and awareness among young people around the world.

Sonam Pem

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