India’s Only Athlete In The Winter Olympics, Meet 31 Year Old Arif Khan

Mad4Sports By Nalin Kashyap | 3 min read

winter olympics

Arif khan hails from Jammu and Kashmir and is India’s only hope for a medal in the Winter Olympics

From skiing on the slopes of Kashmir to representing the population of 1.3 billion on the global stage, Arif khan is on a mission to grab gold. Arif is the only athlete to have qualified for the Winter Olympics in Beijing, The event is slated to be in the month of February 2022. 

There is no doubt that the 31-year-old Arif Khan has great potential and could stimulate India to win a medal at the Games.

Mohammad Arif Khan is a South Asian and national slalom champion in alpine skiing. Mad4india wishes him all the very best. 

winter olympics
Source – Instagram

Arif Khan’s Journey To The Winter Olympics

Arif started skiing back in 1994 and since then, he has never looked back. He has continued training since 2008. 

Mohammad Arif Khan’s father, Yasin Khan, owns a ski equipment shop in Gulmarg, so Arif was always close to the sport. He started playing the sport as a leisure activity when he was four years old.

Remembering his childhood Arif said,” As children, I used to play football and cricket but there was no ground available, thus skiing seemed the most convenient sport for us”. 

Who would have thought that a trembling kid wrapped around snow would bring glory wearing the band of Indian tricolor in the winter Olympics? 

His Inspiration 

“It was 1994, We had to walk 500 meters to the ski resort. And there was thick snow. Dad had set up a small ice rink just outside the store. We started skiing at about 9.30 AM and continued for many hours. ” This was the first memory of Arif when asked about his introduction to the sport.

winter olympics
Source – Instagram

Arif has been skiing since his childhood and his father Yasin Khan has been his greatest inspiration. His father used to ski on the slopes of Apharwat and that is where Arif first fell in love with the sport. Arif was an avid student and was already participating in national-level events at the mere age of 12.

” My first impression was because of my father ‘Yasin Khan’. I started skiing because of him. I was born in these mountains, and it was natural for me. This is how we now introduce these mountains to the world, ” 

The Roadblocks 

Since skiing is an expensive sport, Arif’s main support comes from his father, who invested his money into a ski equipment store for his son’s work. Arif also doubles as a skiing instructor or coach from time to time to cover the deficit.

winter olympics
Source – Instagram

However, before the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics 2018, Mohammad Arif Khan had to turn to fundraise in order to train and cover some expenses before the Games. However, he was unable to make it to the event and his dream was left unfulfilled.

Support from Government 

The governments of Jammu and Kashmir are hopeful that Arif’s entry into the Olympics will put Gulmarg on the world map. It will also help the government to host international sporting events in Gulmarg.

” I want to congratulate Arif on entering the Winter Olympics, it is a time of national pride and Kashmir Valley. He trained in Gulmarg, and Arif and Gulmarg are now synonymous. We pray that you win gold in the event, ’’Director of Tourism.

winter olympics
Source – Instagram

The Indian government provided Arif with all the support he needed to succeed in the winter Olympics. From training to providing world-class facilities, they have shown great support for Arif since last year. And millions of young people have been encouraged by Arif’s journey.

” I am very happy with the support the government has given me. For the past year, I have been given every requirement I had from them. Training, travel, and other resources are always ready for me. I always thought we needed someone to create a way to achieve something great and I feel so happy to be one of them and I will give my best performance. I have a dream of winning an award and I can do my best to sing on the slopes, ”added Arif Khan.

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

Arif has already flown to Delhi from Srinagar and will fly to Beijing from the country’s capital. The whole country has now placed their hopes on Arif Khan and wishes him well in winning the Winter Olympics.

winter olympics
Source – Instagram

Follow Arif Khan on Instagram,

If you love reading about Arif Khan, read about Sabari Karthik – An inspiring story of a karate champion beating all odds to fulfill his late father’s dream

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