Lone Bhutanese archer leaves for France for pre-game training – Summer Olympics

After advancing through the selection rounds in Turkey earlier this year, Lam Dorji will represent Bhutan in archery at the prestigious Summer Olympics in Paris. The Summer Olympics bring together the world’s best athletes every four years to compete in a variety of sports. Lam Dorji and his coach left for France today for pre-game training before competing in the men’s individual category.

27-year-old Lam Dorji’s archery journey began in 2012 when he saw an advertisement on the selection for the national archery team. He then got selected in the top 100. After that, Lam’s talent blossomed under the tutelage of the Bhutan Archery Federation (BAF), and today, he has over 20 international tournaments under his belt.

Now, his sights are set on the biggest stage of all, the summer Olympics in Paris.

“Representing the country, we are the brand ambassadors. So, we don’t only represent ourselves; we are representing our country, king, people, and our nation. Because of that, I am doing my best. I will make sure that I will not make any errors in terms of discipline, in terms of time management, or anything. My whole motive is to just represent the country, and I will do my best.”

Archery, though seemingly simple, demands immense mental and physical preparation. Lam spends hours with his coach, perfecting his technique, from the precise grip on the bow to the focused breathing that steadies his aim. And his coach expresses pride in Lam’s dedication and hard work to reach this stage.

“Lam Dorji shoots a lot of arrows when I check the number of arrows the athletes are shooting. He works really hard and he is very diligent. So, I am very proud of Lam Dorji and this is his first time competing in the Olympics,” said Park Young Sook,  Bhutan Archery Federation’s coach.

In the Olympics, the level of competition is fierce, with archers from around the world competing for a spot on the podium. For Lam, the pressure to perform is immense, with the unfamiliar conditions at the Paris venue adding another layer of complexity. Yet, Lam Dorji remains undeterred.

“In the Olympics, the best of the best compete. For instance, like American archer, Brad Ellison, this is his fifth Olympics, and I have to compete with them. However, we never know if, on that day, luck will be on our side or not,” said Lam Dorji.

And Lam Dorji takes the level of competitiveness a step further by setting his goal to beat his personal record of 664 points.

“In order to tackle my personal best score, I have trained hard, day and night. My coach has made a schedule for me. I am practising even at the night, shooting with the lights on, because we never know if we might have to shoot in the evening or else, at night with the lights on. And to break my personal record, I feel like it will depend on my luck too. But then, I will do my best.”

Lam Dorji won’t be alone in representing Bhutan’s sporting spirit at the Paris Olympics. Joining him are Kinzang Lhamo, who will compete in the 42-kilometer marathon, and Sangay Tenzin, who will compete in the swimming events.

The Summer Olympics is scheduled to open on the 26th of this month.

Karma Samten Wangda

Edited by Kipchu 

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