Opening a Door to the World from Particular Olympics Lesotho

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Three athletes standing side by side for a group photo.

He’s only one athlete on the rostrum—however you’ll by no means imagine his story. Earlier than Particular Olympics, he wouldn’t have dreamed of stepping as much as a podium stage to rejoice successful a medal.

17-year-old Tsilisehang Letuka comes from the distant mountain kingdom of Lesotho, one of many smallest international locations in Africa. Earlier than he joined Particular Olympics, Tsilisehang was a baby who had solely ever performed at residence. “I used to be shy, and I couldn’t affiliate simply with others,” he shared. However in 2016, he went alongside to look at athletes compete at a district competitors. That day he decided—he was decided to hitch in and take part himself.

When he took up operating with Particular Olympics, he was solely in a position to end 100 meters by giving his finest effort. However with common coaching, his efficiency and endurance improved dramatically. Now, he can practice and compete on the district degree on the Leribe mainstream crew. His race is now the 400m and 800m, and he takes on these and another challenges in his life with out concern.

Desert town.

When he gained gold at Particular Olympics Leribe Sub-Program finals after which on the Particular Olympics Lesotho Nationwide Video games, his life expertise modified once more. He was chosen for the small crew of three athletes travelling to World Video games. As his coach Khotso Kqakatha says of his journey to the Video games, “He’s by no means scared, however is at all times proving a degree: ‘I can do that factor’.”

Tsilisehang left his landlocked nation of Lesotho for the primary time to see his first shopping center ever in neighboring South Africa. There, collectively together with his two crew members, Keneuoe Leaooa and Maletsatsi Pitso, they purchased garments and uniforms for his or her upcoming journey to Berlin, Germany. He notably appreciated the escalators—additionally the primary he’d seen. His coaches steered on high of his uniform, he ought to make his personal selection of any merchandise to buy within the retailer. He selected a necklace. “I used to be so excited for these new sports activities uniforms, they seemed so good I made a decision they wanted a necklace to go together with them!” In addition they bought to fulfil his teammate Keneuoe’s dream of going to a shopping center salon—and Tsilisehang wasn’t shy! Instantly he knew what he needed, each a slick new haircut and a pop of shade for the World Video games!

He didn’t sleep a wink on the airplane so he wouldn’t miss any sights from the window. In Germany, he has been struck by the summer season heat, the enjoyable of travelling on trains and the fantastic thing about a metropolis stuffed with timber—a powerful distinction to his chilly and mountainous residence village. Sharing together with his coach, Tsilisehang mentioned, “Regardless that I didn’t handle to win a medal, I had one of the best expertise to take part amongst different athletes from all around the world. This participation has motivated me to hold on with my coaching after I get residence so I can deserve a medal subsequent time.” From a shy little one who at all times stayed residence, right now Tsilisehang can arise on the podium and proudly say to the world: “I’m lovely.”



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