Help Talented Skier Arif Khan Make it to Winter Olympics
Skiing maybe a less-talked-about sport in India. But for Arif Khan from Gulmarg, it has been his entire life. This youngster dreams of representing India in the Asian Winter Games and the South Korea Winter Olympics in 2018. There seems to be one hurdle along the way- money. But there’s a way to make sure this youth gets there and makes our nation proud.
Arif needs 6.81 lakhs to participate in the Asian Games and close to 13.5 lakhs to help get qualified and participate in the Winter Olympics.
A young lad from Gulmarg, Kashmir, Arif is reigning National Ski Champion in Slalom and the South Asian Champion in Slalom and Giant Slalom. He also represented the country for at the Colorado Alpine Skiing Championship in February 2015.
Arif who has been skiing since four, helps out his father Yaseen Khan who runs the local ski shop in Gulmarg. Arif hasn’t been getting funds for his travel training or equipment neither from the government, the Indian Olympic Association nor the Winter Games Federation of India.
He has to travel across the world for racing and training – mandatory for him to be able to qualify for the Winter Olympics 2018.
“I believe that ski racing shows ones true potential; mentally, emotionally, psychologically and obviously physically” says Arif. “It’s a sport that rips one apart until the hard work, the early mornings, the frostbitten toes and the frustration pays off. The hours spent watching videos, blowing out of the course, jet lagging and not wanting to look at the scoreboard, it’s all worth it. Every single second.!”
Break up of How the Funds Will Be Used
The Asian Games are in Japan and start on Feb-18th, 2017.:
The air fare alone is around INR 50,000
Boarding and lodging at the Games Village will be an additional INR52,000 (it is not free).
The Indian uniforms for the opening and closing ceremonies and the team uniform (ski suits) will cost around INR 49,000 (not free again).
Arif has already spent INR 5.30 lakhs of his personal funds to train for the event and to purchase equipment.
Total Cost for the Asian Games: INR 6.81 lakhs.
For the Winter Olympics in 2018:
Travel and training in the Alps for 5 months and costs incurred towards participating in races that will help him qualify for the Winter Olympics will cost him around INR13.5 lakhs.
Arif believes in taking one step at a time. Even if the funding will not reach the desired target, he will represent India at the Asian Games. It would just mean that his father Yaseen will have to dip into his savings to help his son achieve his dreams. But this could mean that Arif getting into Winter Olympics might get tougher as the precious time to be spent on training, will have to be diverted towards fund collection.
The only reward Arif can give those who contributed is his talent. For those contributing INR 5 lakhs and above, Arif will personally coach you, or a person of your choice, for 10 days in Gulmarg at a mutually convenient time up till 2019.
Let’s get together to help this youth make our nation proud!