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Despite Not Winning a Single Olympic Medal, Nepalese Have Reasons to Be Proud

Categories: South Asia, Nepal, Citizen Media, International Relations, Sport, Youth
The Olympic Village #Río2016. Image from Flickr by Mexican Olympic Committee. CC BY NC-ND-2.0 [1]

The Olympic Village #Río2016. Image from Flickr by Mexican Olympic Committee. CC BY NC-ND-2.0

Their country's athletes haven't won a medal at the Olympics in Rio (yet), but Nepalese are smiling nonetheless, thanks to media praise for their national anthem and one swimmer's age-defying performance.

The youngest athlete at the Rio Olympics, Gaurika Singh [2], is Nepalese. She was 13 years and 255 days old [3] when she competed in the 100-meter backstroke heats.

Though she didn't make it into the final round and wasn't able to break the national record — which she set herself [4] — she beat the other two swimmers in the heat she was competing in.

Gaurika Singh at Women's 100m backstroke Heat. Image by Al Bello, Getty Images. Used with permission from the Brazilian Olympic Committee. [11]

Gaurika Singh at women's 100-meter backstroke heat. Image by Al Bello, Getty Images. Used with permission from the Brazilian Olympic Committee.

Adding to the joy of Nepalese was the BBC's decision to include Nepal’s national anthem in its list [12] of the most amazing anthems [13] at this Olympics.

Russia topped the list, followed by Myanmar and Nepal.

Penned by poet Pradeep Rai, also known as Byakul Maila, and composed by the late Amber Gurung, the song was officially declared the national anthem of Nepal [17] on 3 August 2007.

If you haven’t listened to it yet, here’s the beautiful song of praise for unity and sovereignty of Nepal.

And here’s the English translation [18] of the national anthem by Sushma Joshi.

Hundreds of flower bouquets, we are one garland of Nepalis
Sovereign, spread from Mechi to Mahakali.
Nature’s treasures spread out, uncountable
The blood of heroes have made us independent, immovable.
The land of knowledge, land of peace— Tarai, Pahad, Himal
Indivisible, beloved, our motherland Nepal.
The grandeur of many ethnicity, language, faith, culture
Our progressive nation, long live, long live Nepal.

Read more of our special coverage: Joy, Disappointment and Injustice at the Rio Olympics [19]