Olympians Reach Out to Nepal

(ATR) Olympians around the world are expressing condolences for Nepal in the wake of a massive earthquake.

Purshottam Bajracharya (R) and Maharjan Rabina of Nepal look on as they compete in the mixed doubles match against Janos Jakab and Szandra Pergel of Hungary during the 2015 World Table Tennis Championships at the Suzhou International Expo Center in Suzhou, Jiangsu province on April 27, 2015. Nepalese players at the World Table Tennis Championships in China mourned victims and fretted about the survivors after the huge earthquake in their homeland which killed more than 3,200 people. AFP PHOTO / JOHANNES EISELE        (Photo credit should read JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images)
Purshottam Bajracharya (R) and Maharjan Rabina of Nepal look on as they compete in the mixed doubles match against Janos Jakab and Szandra Pergel of Hungary during the 2015 World Table Tennis Championships at the Suzhou International Expo Center in Suzhou, Jiangsu province on April 27, 2015. Nepalese players at the World Table Tennis Championships in China mourned victims and fretted about the survivors after the huge earthquake in their homeland which killed more than 3,200 people. AFP PHOTO / JOHANNES EISELE (Photo credit should read JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images)

(ATR)The Olympic Council of Asia, and Olympians around the world, are expressing condolences for Nepal in the wake of the massive weekend earthquake.

Vinod Tiwari, OCA director of international relation, tells Around the Rings that he has yet to hear from the Nepal National Olympic Committee.

"We have sent condolences to the NOC and sports ministry," he adds.

On behalf of the "Olympian community," Joel Bouzou, president of the World Olympians Association, expressed condolences in a statement to ATR.

"The WOA is deeply saddened by the tragic events in Nepal.

"The thoughts and condolences of the Olympian community go out to the families and friends of the victims and the hundreds of thousands of people whose lives will be profoundly affected by what has happened."

According to BBC News, officials say the death toll from the 7.8-magnitude quake has topped 5,000 and could reach 10,000 as authorities continue their search in remote mountainous areas of western Nepal.

Several Nepalese athletes are in Suzhou, China for the 2015 World Table Tennis Championships, which began on April 26, the day after the massive quake hit Nepal.

Thomas Weikert, president of the International Table Tennis Federation, spoke with members of the Nepalese team on Sunday to express his condolences.

Elina Maharjan spoke with the ITTF after her first women's doubles match of the tournament.

"It's hard to play," Maharjan said through tears. "I just pray that everyone is safe."

The top 32 seeds in each event (men's and women's singles, mixed doubles, men's and women's doubles)competed at the world table tennis championships on Tuesday.

The delegation of athletes from Nepal did not qualify to remain in competition at the championships.

Niva Shrestha, a representative of the Canadian Paralympic Committee whose family is from Nepal, helped set up a fund this week for relief efforts in the country.

Over the next 34 days, Shrestha hopes to raise at least $5,000 for the "Nepal Earthquake Fund."Click here to donate.

Written byNicole Bennett

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