This report comes from the Nepal national daily newspaper Kathmandu Post.
Suma Muthucattuparampil, SCN, is the Principal of Navjyoti Centre whose student Amit Yogi won the gold medal in Special Olympics.
KATHMANDU, FEB 16 – When a shy Mentally disabled boy first joined Navajyoti Centre for the Mentally Disabled Children at Baluwatar 12 years ago, little did he and his teachers know that he would one day shine and make the country proud.
At 26 now, Amit Yogi made history when he won a gold medal in the 25-metre ‘snowshoeing’ race at the Special Olympics 2013 World Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea. Around 2,300 atheletes from around the world took part in the biggest sporting event for people with intellectual disabilities through January 29-February 5 in the South Korean city, the hub of winter sports and the venue for the 2018 Winter Olympics.
As Nepal does not have snowshoeing facilities, Yogi got acquainted with the sport after he reached Korea and just before the preliminary rounds of the event, his coach, Ganesh Parajuli, told the Post. “I was confident that I would win,” a beaming Yogi said at the Navajyoti Centre, a school in Kathmandu for children with intellectual disabilities.
According to Parajuli, Yogi, who originally hails from Dang district, learned the tricks of the game soon after his first drill. “He bagged the medal, defeating participants from seven nations running alongside him,” he said.
Parajuli, who is also the National Sports Director, selected Yogi for the Olympics because of his ‘oozing confidence.’
Navajyoti principal Sister Suma of the Catholic congregation of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth (SCN), said Yogi is ‘one of the most confident and talented’ among the 93 students in the school. “He is one of the students who can communicate and hold conversations,” she said, adding that Yogi can now do basic reading and writing along with other ‘ordinary tasks.’ Yogi said his experience in South Korea was a memorable one. “Korea is very different from Nepal.
There was a lot of snow everywhere. The roads looked tidy and beautiful. And everything was very systematic,” he said, quickly adding that he wished his country had similar facilities.
Yogi dreams of becoming a coach himself. “I would like to train children like me.” Parajuli said he is planning to train Yogi and, “maybe in the near future. I will appoint him an assistant coach.”
The SCNs first opened the Navajyoti Centre in Kathmandu in 1978, while they now run two other schools in Dharan and Surkhet.
Congratulations to Suma Muthucattuparampil, SCN and her team of staff whose earnest efforts resulted in the Gold winning performance of Amit Yogie from Navjyoti Centre for mentally disabled in the World Winter Game Special Olympics held at Pyeong Chang, South Korea. As per reports Nepal participated in World Winter Game Special Olympics for the first time ever and sent in just one participant. Amit Yogie contested in a sport called Snow shoeing. “We are proud of him”, says Sister Suma who is the director of the centre. “His Victory has made a difference to him and to us all here at Navjyoti.”