Dharamsala, May 16 : Tibetans-in-exile in Dharamsala prepares to host parallel Olympics beginning May 22 with the aim to give its youth a sporting exposure without focusing on the Chinese atrocities on their fellow citizens.
Beginning from May 22 to 25, the event in an initiative of the organizers to give an opportunity to Tibetan sports enthusiasts, as they would not be able to go for Beijing Olympics.
"The idea behind 'Tibetan Olympics' is that Tibetan people will not have the opportunity to go to Beijing Olympics in August. So in order to have a platform for Tibetan people to join in the celebrations of international Olympics, we have created this 'Tibetan Olympics'. There is no political agenda. It may be there but it is not our focus," said Lobsang Wangyal, organizer of 'Tibetan Olympics 2008' while talking to reporters at Dharamsala on Friday.
A total of fifteen men and eight women have come from different parts of India to participate in the sporting events like shooting, swimming, running, high jump and long jump.
"I heard that there is very less number of Tibetan girls participating in the 'Tibetan Olympics' and that encouraged me to participate. I ignored my study and I inspired my staff that I can manage the subjects later. I consider this Olympics is the first in Tibetan history. I think I had to take part. I heard the girls are shying away to participate in the event but I don't have to shy," said Dhartsokyi, a participant.
There will be two categories - a Tibetan and an International, each having two championships for men and women.
The prize money for the Tibetan Olympics is one hundred million rupees for the gold medal winner in the male and female categories, fifty thousand rupees for silver medal and twenty five thousand rupees for bronze medal.
In March, Tibetans in exile also carried a torch relay similar to the Olympic torch with the slogan 'One World, Many Dreams', in Dharamsala, or 'Mini Lhasa' as it is known due to the heavy presence of Tibetan exiles in the town.
Exiled Tibetans have been protesting regularly ever since riots broke out in the Tibetan capital Lhasa in March, followed by demonstrations in other Tibetan areas of China.