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Archery at the Olympic Games 2004

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Last update 10. August 2004






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Tshering Chhoden
- Bhutan

It is a rare Olympian who has had a television documentary crew follow their path to the Athens Olympics.

But Bhutan’s Tshering Chhoden, 24, is a rare star at these Games. By competing, she is maintaining one of her tiny Himalayan nation’s proudest sporting tradition: it has competed in archery at every Olympics since 1984.

In fact, archery is the only sport Bhutan has ever competed in at the Olympics. Chhoden and her male team-mate, Tashi Peljor, 26, will be the pride of their small country.

Archery is the national sport of Bhutan. However, traditional Bhutanese archery does not occur with modern recurve bows, but with traditional hand-carved bows and arrows. Archery is a major feature of most public festivals and celebrations. The rules are somewhat different to Olympic archery - to distract opponents, archers can whisper in their opponents’ ears and even dance in front of the targets!

Chhoden has been the subject of a documentary film which has screened widely in recent months. It tracks her progress to the Olympics from her small village of Rhadi, near the Chinese border. It is a fascinating portrayal of sport in a small courage, and a young woman prepared to follow her dream.

This is Chhoden’s second Olympics. In 2000, she placed 43rd in the individual event. Peljor is competing at his first Olympics.

Chhoden and Peljor competed in the Golden Arrow Grand Prix in Antalya, Turkey, last month. They did not advance to the Olympic Round from the Ranking Round, but proved worthy ambassadors of their nation, as they are sure to do again in Athens.

10.08.2004 / T.Cranley











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