We Are Just a Year Away From the 2022 Olympics, How Prepared Is India?



India: A Hub for Winter Sports

The majority of people believe that the Indian climate and subcontinental conditions are unsuitable for the growth of winter sports in India. People all over the world have the impression that India is a humid, dusty, and sweaty country where winter sports can only be done in artificially generated space.

The above-mentioned thoughts are merely imaginable, as the rest of the world regards India as a "snake charmer" nation. You don't need to spend a lot on a trip to Switzerland if you enjoy seeking new horizons.

Winter sports, especially in the Northern Himalayan regions of Himachal Pradesh, Uttrakhand, and Jammu and Kashmir, can help you unleash your adventurous side.


Winter Games Federation and Changing Face of Indian Winter Sports

The Indian Olympic Association decertified the Winter Games Federation of India earlier in 2018, and an ad hoc five-member committee was named in its place. The de-affiliation of this body was based on inconsistencies in the way elections were conducted, according to the reasons given.

Shiva Keshavan and WGFI secretary Roshan Lal Thakur, Lt General Harpal Singh, Rakesh Sharma, and SM Bali were among the members of the ad-hoc committee. The first problem the IOA had with the WGFI, according to Roshan Lal Thakur, was that elections had been due for two years.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi opened the second Khelo India Winter Games in Gulmarg on 26 February 2021, calling the event a step toward making Jammu and Kashmir a winter sports mecca. The Games, which will end on March 2, feature athletes from 27 states and union territories.

In a virtual address, he said, "This is a step toward making India's presence felt in the international winter games arena, as well as making Jammu and Kashmir a winter sports center."

Jammu and Kashmir is eager to enter new heights of peace and prosperity, as evidenced by these games in Gulmarg. These Games will bolster support for the campaign "Ek Bharat, Shreshth Bharat."

Although winter games are now starting to be recognized with government initiatives like ‘khelo india’ but lack of infrastructure , unrecognized federation and no financial support makes it a lonely battle for athletes.

 

From Tragedy to Record: Jadeja Puts India on the World Map

Vishwaraj Jadeja is best known for putting India ice skating on the map. At the Winter World Masters Games, the 34-year-old won four medals, a first for India. In an interview with Humans of Bombay, Mr. Jadeja has opened up about the tough journey that led to the big win as well as his aspirations for the future.

Vishwaraj Jadeja's parents, despite coming from a family of athletes, wanted him to pursue a more traditional career, knowing the challenges that athletes face. "My family made it clear to me that becoming an athlete would entail a life of hardship," he says. "However, I used to spend at least six hours a day playing sports as a child."

I dreamed of representing India in the Olympics since I was five years old. Despite his parents' reservations, Mr Jadeja moved to Denmark when he was 23 years old. "Mom and dad told me of how hard it was for our family to get furniture for our house," he says.

His parents eventually gave in after seeing that he had already purchased a ticket and obtained a student loan. Unfortunately, he was disqualified from the first event in which he competed. He explains, "I was a roller skater, not an ice skater."

However, the next day, his story was featured in an article referring to him as "The Indian Who Ice Skates," and it attracted the attention of a journalist in Holland, who put him in contact with a coach.

"If you're crazy enough to switch countries for this sport, I'm crazy enough to coach you," the coach told Mr. Jadeja. He also waived his fee to encourage the Olympic hopeful to train alongside him.

Vishwaraj Jadeja became the first Indian to win four medals at the Winter World Masters Games in Austria in January, after eight years of training and several championships in the interim.

 

Arif Khan- India’s Most Happening Yet Most Underrated Alpine Skier

He got his first pair of skis when he was four years old. He joined the junior national team at the age of 15, and at the age of 16, he was one of the top 15 skiers at the Asian Games in Japan.

Arif Khan, a 25-year-old alpine skier from Gulmarg, India's top skiing destination in Kashmir's north, is one of the country's most underappreciated skiers.

He knew as a kid that he wanted to be the best skier on the planet. He has followed his passion with laser-like intensity, thanks to his parents' unwavering support. His crowning achievement came in 2011 when he won the Slalom at the South Asian Winter Games in Dehradun and Auli, India.

He participated in the Colorado Alpine Skiing Championships in February 2015, representing the United States. Despite becoming the country's only national champion, the tall, lanky powder hound has come this far without government funding or support.

He knew that nothing could stop him from competing in the 2018 Winter Olympics. His life's ambition is to promote Gulmarg as the world's best skiing destination and to provide a forum for aspiring skiers to hone their skills.

 

Written by - Anushka Jain

Edited by - Adrija Saha

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