Big Game, Small World
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T W E N T Y - T W O: Bhutan
KING OF BHUTANAs recently as the 1960s, you could enter the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan only on horseback or on foot—yet today the ruler of that still-isolated country is an NBA fan of the first order, and a pretty good three-point shooter to boot.

I found a country enraptured of target games of all sorts, from archery, to a homegrown dart game called khuru, to the King’s abiding passion. Whether I found the monarch himself, you’ll have to read the chapter to find out.

In 1999, as part of the silver jubilee of His Majesty’s enthronement, the Bhutanese government published a calendar depicting images of the King discharging his royal duties. Here is a shot of him addressing a group of schoolboys on his favorite sport. Everyone in this picture is wearing a gho, the traditional Bhutanese dress for males. The king has peeled his down halfway for ease of movement.


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