Tibetans to hold own Olympics in Himachal

Tibetan Olympics 2008 will be a sporting event for Tibetans to showcase their love and enthusiasm for sports, which draws all peoples together, fostering international friendship, goodwill and understanding.

According to a press release, Lobsang Wangyal, Director of the Tibetan Olympics said, "we have created this event to ensure that Tibetans can be included in the spirit of the year during the time of the biggest global sporting event next year in Beijing."

Tibetan Olympics 2008 will be held from 15 to 25 May 2008 in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh. There will be two championships, Male and Female. Each category will have 15 participants from the ages 15 to 30 and 15 to 25 respectively. All the participants will compete in 10 different sports including long distance running, swimming, shooting, archery, track and field events.

The winners will be awarded 100,000.00 rupees (2500 USD) each, the first runners-up will be awarded 50,000.00 rupees (1250 USD) each and the second runners-up will be presented 25,000.00 rupees (625 USD) each.

An international category is also being planned. This will depend on the interest and response from the international community.

The torch of the Tibetan Olympics will be carried from Gandhi Samadhi in Delhi to Mcleod Ganj, Dharamshala. It will be lit on 30 January (Gandhi's death anniversary) 2008 and will be carried by a series of Tibetan, Indian, and international runners. Each runner will cover 25 kilometres (covering over 600 kms altogether), before passing on the torch.

The five-ring symbol of the international Olympics has been used as a part of the Tibetan Olympics logo to cherish and celebrate the fever of the international Olympics in Beijing in 2008.

The budget is likely to be between 30 to 40 lakh rupees (100,000.00 USD) and fund raising is under process.

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