When a shy Mentally disabled boy first joined Navajyoti Centre for the Mentally Disabled Children (Sisters of Charity of Nazareth) at Baluwata over 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.”
The Asia News writes…Amit Yogi, from the Centre for the Mentally Disabled Children in Navajyoti, won the snowshoeing completion in Pyeongchang, South Korea. For the organisers, his success is due to the education and love he received at the Catholic facility.
Kathmandu (AsiaNews) – A Nepali man raised in a Catholic facility for mentality disabled children won a gold medal at 2013 Special Olympics World Winter Games held in Pyeongchang, South Korea, between 26 January and 5 February. Amit Yogi, 26, took the top post in the snowshoeing competition, beating athletes from seven nations. Some 2,300 athletes and staff took part in the sporting event in Pyeongchang, which is set to host the 2018 Olympic Winter Games
The young man grew up at the Centre for the Mentally Disabled Children in Navajyoti, Kathmandu. Amit’s trainer, Ganesh Parajuli, a Catholic, said he chose the young athlete because of his confidence and strength more than his athletic skills.
“The extraordinary thing is that he never did any sport before this one,” the trained explained. “He discovered his talent after a trial when he was already in South Korea.”
Organisers complimented the Catholic facility for the quality of its teaching and care, which enabled the young disabled man to believe in himself and overcome psychological and emotional obstacles.
Sister Suma, head of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth Congregation in Navajyoti, said that Amit is “one of the few disabled children, out of 93, who can communicate and take part in conversations. The others’ disabilities are so bad that they cannot talk.”
In view of his success and dedication to study, the young man is an example for others.
“Aware of his skills, Yogi has begun to write and read, and is able to carry out other tasks, which are usually impossible for someone with his disability,” Sister Suma said.
“I knew I was going to win and that’s what happened,” Nepal’s gold winner said after returning home. “All the credit goes to my trainer and to Sister Suma who helped me find meaning in my life.”
After his victory, Amit wants to train his friends and take part in the next Games as an assistant coach.
The Sisters of Charity of Nazareth founded the centre in Navajyoti in 1978. In the past few years, the number of special needs kids has grown; far too often, they are marginalised in their Hindu communities. This has pushed the Sisters to set up two other schools, one in Dharan (eastern Nepal) and Surkhet (west-central Nepal).