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The Other Olympics -- The Tibetan Olympics

August 21, 2008

Al Jazeera
August 18, 2008

DHARAMSHALA, India, Aug 18 -- Men's 80-metre-dash competition of the
Tibetan Olympics, at the TCV school grounds in Dharamshala, India.

The Olympics are seen as an internationally celebrated event where
people from all the countries in the world come and compete on an
array of events. Unfortunately, in terms of the Beijing Olympics,
this is not the case.

If you are Tibetan, the only way you can compete in the Beijing
Olympics is by renouncing your Tibetan identity and registering as a
Chinese athlete. Many Tibetan sportsmen in exile refuse, seeing this
as another way in which China suppresses Tibetan identity.

Dorji Tsering, a talented Tibetan sportsman exiled in India would
ordinarily be looking ahead to Beijing Olympics, but he refuses to
sell his nationality in return for a place on the Olympic stage.

Instead, he took part in the Tibetan Olympics -- a ten-day event
organised as an alternative Olympics by the Tibetans, a defiant
gesture to mighty China.

Exiled

Tibet's own version of the Olympic games is held in the foothills of
the Himalayas in northern India, where the Dalai Lama and Tibetan
government-in-exile reside.

It is an event consisting of ten different sporting disciplines
ranging from track events, high jump, archery and swimming. All the
competitors are Tibetan — and all are amateurs.

They must take part in all ten events -- even though in some cases,
they have never done these sports before. Through the innocence and
exuberance of sport, the film highlights the underlying issues of Tibet today.

Nayantara Kotian's film follows two participants -- Dorji and
Yangchen -- as they prepare for, and then participate in the
competition that for them represent the hope and despair of their native Tibet.

"Other Olympics" can be seen on Tuesday, August 18 at 1000 and 1900;
Wednesday, August 19 at 0600 and 1400; Thursday August 20 at 0300.
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665   ctcoffice@tibet.ca
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