Tuesday, May 12, 2009


'Distraught' Nepali skier found

Nepalese skier Uttam Rayamajhi
Rayamajhi speaks no English or French

A Nepali ski racer, apparently distraught after the loss of team funding, has been found wandering in Paris after a Facebook campaign.

Uttam Rayamajhi, 17, had disappeared from the Nepal team's base at Les Arcs in the French Alps.

The team said he had wandered hundreds of kilometres "surviving through the kindness of local people".

"Eventually a stranger alerted him to the Facebook campaign to find him," the team said.

Rayamajhi, who vanished about two weeks ago, speaks no French or English and had no money or phone.

He was stopped by police a number of times but had a valid visa and was not held.

Richard Morley, the manager who launched the Nepal Alpine skiing team in 1997, told Reuters news agency that Rayamajhi was upset at the funding row with the Nepal Olympic Committee.

The Facebook campaign was started by French student Tom Baraize, a former liaison officer for the Nepal ski team, and drew more than 400 well-wishers.

The team said on Monday: "Eventually a stranger near the Bastille alerted him to the Facebook campaign and showed him the news on the Internet."

It added: "Uttam agreed to return to the team base when he learnt that his disappearance was jeopardising the funding and participation of team mate Shyam Dhakal at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics."




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