Paralympics Spotlight: Chimi Dema

As the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics finally get underway this summer, &ASIAN spotlights a few Asian athletes that might go under your radar. In this week’s issue, we highlight Chimi Dema, one of Bhutan’s Paralympic stars.
Photo credit: James Varghese for the IPC.
Now Reading:  
Paralympics Spotlight: Chimi Dema

Name: Chimi Dema

Discipline: Athletics (shot put)

Country: Bhutan

Competition Dates: 27th August - 5th September

Why she’s one to watch:

Formed in 2017, Bhutan is one of the newest National Paralympic Committees– Along with their fellow Bhutanese athletes Gyeltshen Gyeltshen (Athletics) and Kinley Dem (Shooting), Dema will be representing Bhutan for the country’s debut at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games!

After losing her job in 2018, Dema heard that Bhutan’s NPC was conducting trials and gave it a try despite not having played any sport before. Within a year, she achieved the Minimum Qualifying Standard for the Paralympics in her debut tournament, throwing 4.29m at the Beijing Grand Prix in May 2019.

Coach Gyeltshen says of Chimi: “Whatever may be the result, Dema will make history by becoming the first athlete to participate in Paralympics in the Kingdom of Bhutan. There are plenty of experienced athletes out there, so the competition is tough. It will be a huge learning curve for her and a huge boost for Bhutan.”


  • Dema previously worked in the dispatch department of a private sector company in Bhutan’s capital, Thimphu. Prior to becoming a Paralympian, Dema pursued nursing.
  • Dema says of her sporting career transformation: “Now, I thank God every night before going to sleep. Earlier, I used to complain that why was I made the way I am and not like my friends.”
  • For recreation, Dema enjoys watching television, listening to stories or reading.

Catch Chimi Dema in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics this summer.