HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
LALITPUR: The meeting of Nepal Olympic Committee (NOC) today nominated its Vice-President Ganga Bahadur Thapa as the Chef-de-Mission of the Nepali delegation at the 2012 London Olympic Games.
“Today we decided to nominate our Vice-President Ganga Bahadur Thapa as the Chef-de-Mission for the London Games,” said NOC President Dhruba Bahadur Pradhan, at a farewell ceremony. The NOC had earlier nominated Member Secretary of National Sports Council Yubaraj Lama as the head of the delegation. “We were forced to select the new Chef-de-Mission as the Member Secretary refused to take the post,” he added. Pradhan handed over Nepal's flag to Chef-de-Mission Thapa.
The decision, however, did not come unanimously. “NOC decided in favour of Thapa — former President of Nepal Volleyball Association — only after a couple of heated discussions,” said one NOC Member. “Another contestant, Rabi Raj Rajkarnikari, was furious over the decision and left the meeting throwing his accreditation card,” the Member added.
Rajkarnikar blamed the NOC officials of being undemocratic in the process. “I left the meeting as it was not a democratic one,” said Rajkarnikar. “The agendas were put forward in the meeting and the decisions were taken without dwelling on those agendas,” he blamed. “He (Pradhan) just came and read out the decisions. We talk of Olympic norms and values at schools and colleges, but we ourselves do not implement them in our own association,” he added. "I don't see any good reason of being in the NOC," he said. “Earlier, I was assigned with the duty of Chef-de-Mission and I had done lots of preparations for that. But today all of a sudden I was removed without any reason. So I returned my accreditation card and I have decided not to travel to London,” he added.
The NOC was also confused about the flag bearer during the march-past at the opening ceremony. “We will decide that on seniority basis once all the delegation members reach London,” said Pradhan.
But after discussing with other officials including General Secretary Jeevan Ram Shrestha and Vice-President Umesh Shrestha, Pradhan said swimmer Prasiddha Jung Shah would carry Nepal’s flag in the opening ceremony. “As he is senior among the participating players, Prasiddha will carry the flag,” he said.
Meanwhile, the NOC bade farewell to shooter Sneh Rana, who earned the Olympic berth by virtue of wild card, and her coach Dhruba Bikram Shah along with five officials and two sports journalists. Four others — athletes Pramila Rijal and Tilak Ram Tharu and swimmers Prasiddha and Shreya Dhital — along with coaches Tika Sedai (athletics) and Ongden Lama (swimming) are already in London to prepare for the Games.
Among the officials bade farewell today include NOC Treasurer and President of Nepal Cycling Association Chhimmi Urgen Gurung (Team Leader of Cycling), NOC Vice-President and ANFA General Secretary Dhirendra Pradhan (shooting official), NOC Member and General Secretary of Nepal Badminton Association Ramji Bahadur Shrestha (Team Manager of Shooting), NOC Member and Vice-President of All Nepal Lawn Tennis Association Jyoti Rana (Team Manager of Athletics) and NOC Member and President of Nepal Boxing Association Rajiv Shrestha (Official of Boxing, Athletics and Shooting).
Also, the NOC provided the first Nepali Olympian Bhupendra Silwal — who is going to watch the Games — with $500 allowance. The NRN-UK is set to fete Bhupendra — who participated in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics — in London. “We are thankful to the NRN-UK and Nepal Sports Journalists Forum (NSJF) for making the arrangement to send him (Bhupendra) to London,” said NOC President Pradhan.