Richard Bull (cold open) She took the field apart. She broke the record. And then I remember her calling later that evening from a plush shaley with sheepskin on the wall and all wood and everything and she said, “Sir, what’s happening?”
J.R. Biersmith: From 2728 Pictures this is Just Droppin In a show about the global influencers and creators who are reframing the lens on people, places and ideas.
I’m J.R. Biersmith and this episode we’re headed to Nepal to meet MIRRA Rye and the mentor who helped her navigate the most improbable journey from child solider to world renowned athlete.
Mira Rai (audio): Thank you for coming. Namaste Day. Namaste Day.”
J.R Biersmith: Long before Mira made videos like this one of herself greeting people at the starting line of Ultra Trail races she was a child soldier in a Maoist rebellion against her government. At 13, I was trying to figure out how to convince my mom I needed some Jordan’s. Mira, at 13, was scheming how to join a rebellion. It turns out her decision making about how to join wasn’t the best but more on that in a minute.
So how did Mira become Nat Geo’s 2017 athlete of the year and then in Oct. of 2018, stand in New York City next to the former CEO of Pepsi as one of eight honorees for the Asia Society’s game changer awards? I’ll give you a hint, it was community. Everyday people, listening to a kid who wanted to be something more.
Mira Rai (audio): Here at my home. In my village.
J.R. Biersmith: This is a video Mira sent from her parent’s home. She’s back in the remote mountain village she grew up in giving us a tour. I’ll put it on IG and Facebook so you can see the full thing. You can’t make out too much of the home but you get a sense of the remoteness and what her childhood may have been like with some rogue chickens running around and skinny cows tied to wood posts. Mira’s only recently settled into learning English, so you may struggle with some of her pronunciation but stick with her because its part of what makes her so endearing. I’ll step in to clarify as will her friend Sworupa.
Sworupa: My name is Sworupa and I’m originally from Nepal. I’ve been living in New York the last 14 years and the US 21 years now. I met Mira because I’m a roadrunner and I have been into road running for a long time. Everywhere I went in the world I was the only Nepalese woman runner so when I saw Mira won that outdoor festival race in the magazine I knew we had a star.