Alpine skier Arif Mohammed Khan from Kashmir booked his place in the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics on Saturday.
Arif, who is 30 years old and hails from the Hajibal Tanmarg area, has represented India in World Championships four.
Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah congratulated Arif after his qualification to the quadrennial meet.
Veteran skier Arif secured his place in the Games via the qualifying alpine skiing event in Dubai.
According to reports, he is the only ski racer from India who qualified for Beijing Winter Olympics 2022 till now. Himanshu Thakur and Aanchal Thakur are the other Indian ski racers who are trying to qualify for the mega-event.
Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra also congratulated Arif on his achievement.
“Many Congratulations!,” tweeted Bindra.
“Arif Khan qualified for Beijing Winter Olympics in ski and snowboard. Congratulations to our sports minister Mr. Anurag Thakur-ji and Arif Khan,” said Rajeev Mehta, Secretary-General, Indian Olympic Association in a tweet.
Congratulations to skier Arif Khan for qualifying for Beijing Winter Olympics2022. It is a proud moment for the whole country.@JKSportsCouncil 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 (@OfficeOfLGJandK) November 20, 2021
First Winter Olympics Quota for India Arif Khan becomes first Indian to qualify for Beijing Winter Olympics 2022 in Ski
Arif Khan along with Himanshu Thakur and Aanchal Thakur is currently training in Austria for Winter Olympics practice and qualifications
— Sports India (@SportsIndia3) November 20, 2021
“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,” WGAJK President Mohammad Abass Wani was quoted as saying by Greater Kashmir.
“He deserves it as he has been working hard over the years for it,” he added.
“Over the years he has been lone torch bearer of not only J&K winter sports but also of Indian skiing across the globe. However, he has not been given due recognition and now he has silenced one and all but getting place in Olympics,” WGAJK General Secretary Mohammad Yousuf was quoted as saying by Greater Kashmir.
“We are proud of him and whole winter sports community of J&K and Country will be proud of him,” he said.