An online fundraising campaign has been started at bitgiving.com for raising funds for Arif Khan, a professional skier from Gulmarg for supporting his participation in Asian Winter Games 2017, and South Korean Winter Olympics 2018. So far, Arif has raised Rs 1.6 lakhs against the required amount of Rs 10 lakhs.
Since 2005, Arif has been consecutively winning National and South Asian Skiing Championship in Slolam and Gaint Slolam.
Despite his excellent performance for Indian National Team, neither the Indian Olympic Association nor the Winter Games Federation of India funds his training equipment or travel.Arif’s father Yaseen Khan runs the local ski shop in Gulmarg and Arif himself works there in the off-season. Arif has already spent Rs 5.30 lakhs of his personal funds to train for the event and to purchase equipment.
“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.”
Arif is determined to represent India at the Winter Olympics 2018 scheduled to take place from 9 to 25 February 2018, in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
If the required funds would not be raised, “He will represent India in the Asian Games regardless of the amount of funding collected in this campaign. It would just mean that his father Yaseen will have to dip into his savings to help his son achieve his dreams. Also, his ultimate target of representing India in the Winter Olympic Games 2018 will get that much harder – the precious time that could be better spent on training, will have to be diverted towards fund collection,” reads the campaign.