The “Colorado Yaks” is a local Tibetan soccer team in the Boulder-Denver area. The name “Colorado Yaks” is the brainchild of local Tibetan soccer fanatics, who are always ready to jump into the soccer field and play so hard that they forget to eat their lunches. The combination of “Colorado” and “Yaks” is not a coincidence. Colorado has a historic tie with Tibet, since Colorado Springs is the place where members of the Tibetan resistance group, “Four River Six Ranges”, were trained by the CIA in the wake of the Chinese invasion of Tibet. Yaks are symbolic to Tibetans and Tibet supporters throughout the globe. As the national animal of Tibet, yaks are often celebrated and cherished not only for their resourcefulness and enormous strength, but also for their peaceful nature.
Soccer for Tibetans is not only a game but also a very important way to socialize. After days of hard work, Colorado Yaks players anxiously wait for Sunday, the day when they meet for the game. During the breaks between games, they delve into various sorts of discussion ranging from nostalgic stories of their hometowns back in Tibet, India, and Nepal to the local politics of the host country. Some Tibetan community leaders take the opportunity to make announcements about upcoming events. Family members often come to cheer and have a good time. Furthermore, Colorado Yaks has the potential to become an important arena for political actions. Games and sports have historically played a significant role in the lives of oppressed people to express resistance against the oppressors and gain international visibility for their cause. Colorado Yaks is one such avenue for the Tibetans to represent their community.