Meet the skier flying the flag for 1.4 Billion Indians on the Wintry weather Olympics

SCENES shines a focus on adolescence world wide which might be breaking down obstacles and growing exchange. The nature-driven brief motion pictures will encourage and amaze, as those younger change-makers inform their exceptional tales.

Arif Khan is an alpine skier from India. He made his country proud through turning into the primary Indian athlete to qualify for 2 other occasions on the 2022 Wintry weather Olympics in Beijing. When he flew his nation’s flag on the Olympic opening rite, he knew he had completed one thing more than his desires.

Finding the game

Arif’s father, Yaseen, runs a ski store in Gulmarg, one in every of Kashmir’s biggest and easiest ski lodges. Part of the western Himalayas, at the Pir Panjal Vary, town is legendary for its breathtaking perspectives and highest powder snow.

When Arif was once 4 years outdated, Yaseen inspired his son to soak up the game. Over time, they educated diligently at the snowy slopes of Gulmarg, dedicating themselves to creating it a day-to-day process in Arif’s lifestyles.

As a ten-year-old, Arif started competing within the game. By way of the age of 12, he had gained his first nationwide slalom championship and through 16, he made his global debut at a junior match in Japan. Since then, he has participated in additional than 130 global occasions.

Street to the Olympics

After realising that snowboarding was once a lot more than a pastime, Arif moved to Switzerland in 2008 to pursue his dream of representing India on the Wintry weather Olympics. Whilst he was once there, he educated at world-class Eu amenities.

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“To compete at an international (degree), I needed to all the time have a look at the Eu nations for coaching and use that degree of infrastructure and the coaches,” says Arif.

Snowboarding is a dear game. Maximum of Arif’s investment got here from his father’s ski store and his paintings as an trainer to fund his pastime.

Within the lead as much as the 2018 Wintry weather Olympics, Arif used crowdfunding to hide his coaching and different bills, however unfortunately it wasn’t sufficient. “I neglected out at the Olympics through one consequence, the place we’re all the time required to get 5 effects. I had achieved 4 and on the final consequence, I could not shuttle as a result of there was once no time and no longer a lot investment,” he provides.

Representing India

“Being the one athlete representing 1.4 billion folks within the Olympics is a large factor. It is a other idea,” Arif tells Scenes.

Arif has been fuelled through making it to the Wintry weather Olympics regardless of going through monetary hardships and accidents. He endured and put all his efforts into qualifying. Arif is lately the tenth alpine skier and thirteenth Indian to take part within the Wintry weather Olympics.

“It’s the dream of all the Kashmir valley, a dream of all Indians. There can’t be a better pleasure for us,” says Arif’s pal, Waseem Bhat.

Arif desires to introduce India to the arena as a snowboarding vacation spot. The rustic is healthier recognized for its sun-drenched local weather and love of cricket than wintry weather sports activities. “Other people have other perceptions about us, concerning the folks in Kashmir. I need to inform the country that we’re very sturdy and if we’re constructed up, we will be able to conquer and be the most productive contenders within the country,” asserts Arif.

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Arif Khan completed in forty fifth place on the 2022 Wintry weather Olympics marking India’s best-ever efficiency in males’s massive slalom match. He hopes his efficiency will encourage long term generations of wintry weather athletes from throughout India.