Unlikely Olympian, Perfect Hero

by Jesse Giglio

Dachhiri Sherpa is a bricklayer. And he predicts he'll finish last in Sochi.

nepal olympian sochi bricklayer story.jpg

The 44-year-old finished 92nd and 94th in the 15km events at the 2006 Turin Games and 2010 Vancouver Olympics and isn't expecting anything better tomorrow in Sochi.

"I have taken four months off work and skied every single day since December to train for this event, but I'm not perfect," said the bricklayer.

"I think there is a very big chance I will finish last. But the placing is not important if I can teach young people in Nepal about the Olympic spirit. This spirit is in my heart."

Sherpa was born in the village of Chulemo at the foot of Mount Everest -- a four-day walk from the nearest road -- and raised in a local monastery.   

 He only took up skiing when he was 33 at the urging of some tourists from the Netherlands who then paid for Sherpa to do a course to become a mountain guide.

"I compete for the pleasure of discovery on all levels, to meet new people, new places and different cultures. Winning is of little importance."

In his spare time, Sherpa supports orphans, builds clean water reservoirs and constructs clinics.

"It's just the way I see things. If you have the possibility to help people who have less than you, you just do it," he explained.

"When we go, we just go with a piece of clothing, you take nothing to your grave. When I see my life flash in front of my eyes, I just want to see a smile."