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My goal at the Beijing Olympics is to do my best to put India on the ski map: Arif Khan

Imagine the irony. Athletes build history by competing in the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing through an event in the middle of the desert.

Last month, 31-year-old Arif Khan finished 10th overall at the Entry League FIS event in Ski Dubai and booked a spot in the country in Beijing. He became the first Indian to do so. At the entry league FIS event last week, he finished 9th in the 1st round, 11th in the 2nd and 3rd rounds, and 10th in the 4th round. Earn a spot For India at the Winter Olympics. Faced with the lack of infrastructure and facilities in India, Arif will make the best shot in Beijing at the 2022 Winter Olympics, which begins in February. “My goal at the Olympics is to do my best to put India on the ski map. The international ski community pays attention when I deliver the goods. The success at the Winter Olympics is It may make India the best ski destination from India, “he said. News18.com..

Read more | After climbing uphill, the world’s top Kashmir village where local ski heroes will compete in the Winter Olympics

Originally from the Gulmarg region of Jammu and Kashmir, Arif was a national and South Asian slalom champion of alpine skiing and had all the reasons to start skiing as a sport. His father, Yasen Khan, was a skier himself, a longtime guide, and ran a ski equipment store for tourists in Gulmarg. The 12-year-old Arif clarified his intentions after a successful junior national level tournament. However, the 32-year-old says he began winning national events in 2005. “By 2008 I was skiing faster than any other Indian, and then he dreamed of the Olympics,” he said.

Arif believes that the snow-covered hills of Gulmarg for almost six months could be the Asian hub for this sport. However, there are some conditions that must be met. “India, in addition to these slopes, needs to develop some advanced types of infrastructure, such as ski slopes approved by the International Ski Federation, such as ski lifts, and the government needs to develop appropriate financial. We need to provide professional equipment and training to Indian athletes with assistance so that we can acquire the highest quality sports men and women in the country, “he said.

He feels that there are millions of Indians who know sports, but the media needs to play some role in caring for and financially supporting Indian athletes. Economically, skiing is an expensive sport. “In countries that are not a priority among people, it is always difficult to raise money for them. Skiing is famous all over the world. Especially in Europe, there are many snow-covered mountains. Even in India. With mountains and snow in different parts of the country, it could be one of the top sports categories. We hope that within the next four to five years, tens of thousands of people will be attracted to skiing. “He said.

But obviously it’s very expensive. “When competing at the international level, the cost is about 600,000 rupees a year. Compared to other international skiers, they earn millions of dollars a year. They are of their needs. I have a big sponsor to take care of. A personal coach to guide them. And of course, support staff. This isn’t all free. For me, what I’m looking for is to participate in a tournament. It’s just money, “he added. Currently, Arif is trying to reduce costs when training and competing abroad. “I need to share a coach. I’m looking for low cost accommodation and I’ll take a bus or train while other athletes fly for a trip within Europe.” He said from his father 600,000. It is managed by rupee.

Since the pandemic, Kashmir’s tourism business has not been good, and it only exacerbated his problem. To keep the money flowing, he has friends and aspirants to help make donations to make his Olympic dreams come true. From time to time, Arif also acts as a ski instructor, earning a few extra dollars. With just over two months before the start of the winter game, Arif planned what he needed to do. “I am aiming for the World Cup race in January. This will give me a better understanding and understanding of other athletes competing in the Olympic Games. The snow conditions at the Olympic Games will be the same as in the World Cup races. “Masu,” says Arif, who loves the vanilla flavor of Italian ice cream.

But he also decided that Beijing wasn’t the last shot at the Olympics. “I’m very strong and I don’t think it’s difficult to go to the 2026 Winter Olympics. The only concern is financial support to continue training and travel for international events,” he said. Signed off.

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My goal at the Beijing Olympics is to do my best to put India on the ski map: Arif Khan

Source link My goal at the Beijing Olympics is to do my best to put India on the ski map: Arif Khan

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