Bista signs off with car
- Record four-time SA Games taekwondo gold medallist announces official retirement
Feb 1, 2015-
Taekwondo star Deepak Bista on Saturday officially called time on his stellar career with his own legacy in the sport that has set several benchmarks.
The Olympian, 37, has been lately working as a coach but was yet to make official announcement of his retirement. On Saturday, he did it in style when his well wishers gave him a ceremonious send off gifting a Volkswagen car worth approximately Rs 3.4 million. Minister for Commerce and Supplies Sunil Bahadur Thapa handed over the replica of the key to Bista.
Bista, the most decorated sports person of the country, has an unprecedented record of remaining undisputed in South Asia and national arena. He is the only athlete in the South Asian Games history to win four consecutive gold medals—1999 (Kathmandu), 2003 (Islamabad), 2006 (Colombo) and 2010 (Dhaka).
By doing so, he got the better of legendary marathon runner Baikuntha Manandhar who had won gold in three consecutive editions of the regional meet. Recently, the government had provided both athletes with Rs 2.5 million for residential purpose.
“This is one of the most important decisions of my life,” he announced as people from different walks of life including political figures, sports officials, actors, celebrities and athletes attended his retirement programme.
“By this announcement, neither I am distancing myself from you nor my relation with sports. This is only a change of form in my sporting career. This moment comes in every athlete’s life. I was mentally prepared for retirement for a long time and I chose to announce it today. I am formally ending my life’s one chapter as a player,” added Bista.
While he remained unbeaten in the domestic arena, Bista also claimed bronze medals for Nepal in the 2002 Asian Games in Busan and 2006 Asian Games in Doha.
Bista, who was the flagbearer of Nepali contingent in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, is the fourth Nepali athlete to sign off from the game with a car after footballers Upendra Man Singh and Hari Khadka along with Sangina Vaidya. Karate star Deepak Shrestha was given a tipper when he had called time on his career.
While his performance in the mat has won him numerous national and international medals, Bista has also been honoured with several accolades from the government. Bista was conferred with the 3rd Suprabal Gorkha Dakshin Bahu (2000), 3rd Subikhyat Trishakti Patta (2003), 3rd Supradipta Birendra Prajatantra Bhaskar (2005), Dashrath Chand Medhavi Honour (2010) and Yuba Pratibha Khelkud Samman (2010).
Prime Minister Sushil Koirala, who sent a message that was read out in the programme, lauded Bista for his achievement. “The journey of his sporting career is a source of inspiration to everyone of us. I believe that after the retirement from an active playing career, his contribution will be equally important in the development of Nepali sports,” the message from Koirala read.
National Sports council Member Secretary Yubaraj Lama dealt with Bista’s retirement in a peculiar way. “I don’t want to call it a retirement. By retirement, people have a general notion that one is no more able to carry on. I believe Bista now has to dream of taking Nepali sports to another level and mentor upcoming athletes to do better in international stage. I would like to call it a new beginning for him,” said Lama.
Published: 01-02-2015 09:32