KATHMANDU, July 18: Bhupendra Silwal, one of the first Olympians from Nepal, is all set to fly to the UK to witness the London Olympics 2012.
Nepal Sports Journalists Forum (NSJF) arranged Silwal´s visit with the support of Non-Resident Nepali (NRN) in UK. NRN (UK) will bear all the expenses of airfare and accommodation for Silwal´s visit.
NSJF organized a farewell program in the capital on Wednesday and informed about the Silwal´s tour to London. Silwal will fly to UK next week.
BBC´s Desk Editor Suman Kharel had taken the initiation for Silwal´s visit after he heard a radio report about Silwal on BBC Nepali Service some time ago.
Dhruba Bahadur Pradhan, the president of Nepal Olympic Committee (NOC) recognized by International Olympic Committee, and journalist Kharel bade farewell to Silwal amidst the program organized by NSJF.
"It is an initiation to felicitate our seniors," said Kharel. "I hope this initiation would help to develop a culture of respecting seniors in the Nepali sports sector," he added.
Speaking at the program, Silwal expressed his delight. "I feel I´m lucky. Almost 50 years after I participated in the Tokyo Olympics, now I have a chance to watch London Olympics," said Silwal.
NSJF had bestowed the Lifetime Achievement Award on Silwal during the Pulsar Sports Award on July 4.
NSJF President Niranjan Rajbanshi informed that Silwal will also be felicitated by NRN (UK). Nepal Olympians Association President Sunil Joshi, Olympians Deepak Bista and Sangina Baidya as well as other athletes were present at the farewell program.
Silwal had participated in the marathon event of the Tokyo Olympics 1964 and in the Tokyo Asian Games in 1958 in which he finished in the seventh position running bare feet.
´Lesson to NOC´
Speaking at the farewell program, NOC President Pradhan said that the initiation taken by NRN (UK) and NSJF to take Silwal to London Games would be a lesson for his committee.
"I´m embarrassed to attend this farewell program since this initiation should have been taken by us," said Pradhan. "It is a lesson for us and we will try to do everything possible to make Silwal´s visit memorable," he added.