Meet 31-year-old Indian skier Arif Khan who heads to Beijing with hopes to bag medal at Winter Olympics

Written By: Idrees Lone WION
Srinagar Updated: Jan 29, 2022, 11:51 AM(IST)

Indian skier Arif Khan looks to make it big at Beijing Winter Olympics. Photograph:( WION )

Story highlights

The Jammu and Kashmir government is also hopeful that Arif's entry into the Olympics would put Gulmarg on the map of world sports. And it will also help the government to host international level sports events at Gulmarg

From skiing on the slopes of Gulmarg to becoming the only Indian so far to qualify for the Beijing Winter Olympics this year, 31-year-old Arif Khan surely has great potential and may help India win a medal at the games.  

The skier from Gulmarg, Kashmir will head to Beijing, China in February 2022 for taking part in the games.   

Arif Khan was selected for the games at the entry league event held at Dubai. Arif has already become an inspiration for the millions of Indians, who want to take up winter sports as their career.   

Arif has already taken a flight to Delhi from Srinagar and he will be flying to Beijing from the national capital. After participating in more than 127 International championships, Arif now has a dream of winning a gold at the Beijing Winter Olympics.   

Also Read: India reports drop in coronavirus cases; 871 deaths in 24 hours

''It's a very inspiring and motivational moment for me. I will be going for the Olympics and representing 1.4 billion people. I started skiing back in 1994 and since then, I have never looked back. I continued my training across Europe and since 2008, I have been professionally into this sport and have been also training for the Olympic games. I have participated in world championships and international level games, Asian games and other continental championships. After more than 127 international participations, I have realised that I could be one of the best athletes in the world, '' said Khan.   

Arif has been skiing since his childhood and his father Yaseen Khan has been his main inspiration. His father used to ski on the slopes of Apharwat and that's when Arif took interest in the sport. Arif was a quick learner and had already participating at national level events at the age of 12.   

''The first inspiration was my father. I started skiing because of him. I was born in these mountains, and it came natural to me. And this is how, I now introduce these mountains to the world,'' said Arif Khan, skier.   

Also Read: India's Budget 2022: Important terms you should know

The government of India has provided Arif all the support that he required. From training to providing facilities, they have shown immense support towards Arif for last one year. And millions of youngsters are already inspired by Arif's journey.   

''I am very happy with the support that the government has provided me. For a year, I have been provided with whatever requirements I have had from them. Training, travel and other facilities have been provided to me. I always thought we needed someone to create the path to achieve something big and I feel very good to be one of them and I would give my best performance. I have a dream to win a medal and would try my best to perform on the slopes, '' added Khan.   

The Jammu and Kashmir government is also hopeful that Arif's entry into the Olympics would put Gulmarg on the map of world sports. And it will also help the government to host international level sports events at Gulmarg.  

''I want to congratulate Arif for the entry into Winter Olympics, it's a moment of pride for the whole country and for Kashmir Valley. Reaching the Olympics is extraordinary. Whether it's in his personal capacity or representing the youth of the country. He will become an icon for the youngsters in the nation. He has trained in Gulmarg, and Arif and Gulmarg are synonyms now. We are praying that he wins a gold at the games. I have been told that he has always promoted Gulmarg,'' said G N Itoo, Director, Tourism.  

The whole country is now pinning their hopes on Arif Khan and wish he wins a medal at the Winter Olympics. 

Read in App