Microkhan by Brendan I. Koerner

Ripped in the Kingdom of Happiness

May 10th, 2010 · No Comments

In what must certainly rank as the least surprising athletic triumph ever, bodybuilder Tshering Dorji has been named the first-ever Mr. Bhutan. Though his victory is just days old, Dorji has obviously been expecting this title for years—something we assume based on the fact that his three-year-old charitable foundation is called Mr. Bhutan. Also, going in to the competition, he was the only competitor with experience on the international level—he actually lives in Finland, and has garnered some Top 10 finishes on the European bodybuilding circuit. (In addition to being Mr. Bhutan, he is also Mr. Turku.)

Despite all of his success and his charitable endeavors, Dorji is not universally beloved in his native country. And that is because in poor nations such as Bhutan, athletes are invariably products of the elite class:

Bhutanese audience has criticized Tshering Dorji of being born in a fortunate family which is one essence of successful body builders. But Tshering Dorji turned this comment down stating that it was not as easy as people think it is when it comes to financial matters.

“There were times during college days when my friends would make fun of the only jacket I had,” he said adding that whatever pocket money he got from his parents he would spend it on buying diets and going to the gym.

We find it a bit odd that economic jealousy would be a factor in Bhutan. Isn’t the Himalayan kingdom supposed to believe that happiness trumps material wealth?

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