Akeel Rashid

Tangmarg Skier qualifies for Beijing Winter Olympics 2022

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LG, Bindra, Omar, Abbas Wani, Farooq Khan congratulate Arif Khan, the only skier to represent India in Winter Olympics

Srinagar: The winter sports enthusiasts in Kashmir must be feeling proud and cheerful today as Arif Mohammad Khan, a professional alpine skier from north Kashmir’s Tangmarg, has brought much-needed recognition to the sports by qualifying for Winter Olympics (slalom category) to be held in Beijing in January, 2022.

The 30-year-old skier Saturday secured his place for the international event at Ski Dubai. He will now represent India in the slalom (alpine skiing discipline) at Beijing Winter Olympics.

Khan, who has represented India in more than 100 ski events held across the world, had been undergoing ski training in Europe for the most part of this year. He is set to become the only skier to represent India in Winter Olympics this year.

Talking to Kashmir Images from Dubai, Khan said that he is thankful to his father Mohammad Yaseen Khan who has always supported him. “My father has been my greatest strength as he kept me motivated and focused. Making it to the Olympics would not have been possible without him,” said Khan.

“I had to work night and day to get here and I am relieved that everything went so well,” he added.

Meanwhile, Khan expressed his gratitude to his sponsor Jindal Steel Works Limited, Lt Governor Manoj Sinha, JK Sports Council, Winter Games Association JK and Ski and Snowboard India for all their support and help.

Lt Governor Manoj Sinha, Indian Olympian, Abhinan A Bindra, former chief minister, Omar Abdullah, former MLA Gulmarg and president WGAJK, Abbas Wani and Advisor to the LG Farooq Khan congratulated Arif for qualifying for Winter Olympics.

“Congratulations to skier Arif Khan for qualifying for Beijing Winter Olympics2022. It is a proud moment for the whole [email protected] to ensure Arif is provided with world-class training facilities by best-in-class coaches&support staff.I wish him all the best for games,” Office of LG J&K tweeted.

Former chief minister, Omar Abdullah, himself a skier, tweeted: “Congratulations Arif, well done for qualifying for #Beijing2022. We will all be rooting for you.”

Winter Games Association of J&K (WGAJK) has hailed Arif Khan for making it to Olympics and making whole country proud.

“I have got the confirmation that Arif is first Indian skier this time to secure place in Winter Olympics 2022. It is biggest news of the decade for us as our skier has qualified directly for the biggest winter games spectacle on the globe,” said Mohammad Abbas Wani, President WGAJK.

“He deserves it as he has been working hard over the years for it,” he said.

Advisor Khan congratulated Arif Khan, Sports Council and Youth Services Sports department ‘for the feat and hoped that his performance in Beijing Winter Olympics will be medal-winning’.

He said that creation of world-class sporting infrastructure with training and coaching facilities has started showing results and more and more players are getting selected for national and international sports events.

Olympian Bindra tweeted: “Many congratulations.”

Beijing Winter Olympics 2022 is scheduled to be held from February 04 to 20.

Before securing place in Olympics, Arif has participated in nearly 100 international sporting events including South Asian Games, Asian Games and World Ski Championships. Currently he is only Indian skier to secure place in Beijing Winter Olympics 2022.

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