Nepalese trail runner and sky runner Mira Rai was appointed a Mountain Partnership Goodwill Ambassador during the virtual International Mountain Day celebrations on Friday, 11 December 2020.

Mira Rai is the winner of 2017 National Geographic Adventurer of the Year and is the founder of Mira Rai Initiative, a platform to empower trail runners in Nepal, especially female, and promote trail running as the mainstream adventure sport in Nepal. This initiative aims to give young female athletes an opportunity to chase their dreams and defy the challenges that hold them back. Mira Rai Initiative has been working with the Hong Kong Trail Running group since 2018 to run an Exchange and Empower programme that aims to provide young talented female runners the opportunity to focus on athletic training, education and their professional development.

The appointment of Mira Rai as Mountain Partnership Ambassador on International Mountain Day will help increase awareness of the vital importance of mountains. As a remarkable athlete, an avid advocate for gender equality and an emblem of positivity and possibility, Mira Rai’s story inspires us. Her appointment and her role provide opportunity to others, specifically young women from disadvantaged or underprivileged communities. Her work resonates with the mission of the Mountain Partnership, the UN voluntary alliance dedicated to improve the lives of mountain peoples – among the world's most vulnerable and marginalized – and to protect mountain environments around the world.

“Mountains have always played a major role in my trail running journey. However, they play a key role in our entire global system. Without these beautiful mountains and their environment, there would simply be no life. Pollution, climate change and other insensitive human activities have endangered it and all those who depend on them. We must take action now to preserve and protect our mountains and their ecosystems,” says Mira Rai.

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