ISLAMABAD: For the first time in history, Pakistan will take part in the Winter Olympics and the selected skiers will be given training abroad for this.

This was stated by Vice Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal Shahid Lateef, who is the President of the Ski Federation of Pakistan (SFP), while talking with media here on Saturday.

He is confident that our skiers will win the country its maiden berth in the Winter Olympics 2010 by collecting enough qualification points.

Thus, Pakistan will become the first country in the region to appear in the Winter Olympics which will be held at Vancouver, Canada in February 2010.

He said that the SFP has selected a core group of five players who will proceed to Austria in the coming week or so for a nine week strenuous training.

After the training, these players will compete in 15 international ski races in Austria and other adjoining European countries, he said.

He said an Austrian coach, Eirhardt, has also been hired by the SFP to train the Pakistani players on their tour of Europe which will begin on January 20.

While in Austria, the players will undergo training at the “Sehischule Neustlift”, Tirol, Austria.
He said Pakistani players will compete in the events of Slalom and Grand Slalom in Winter Olympics which feature many sports including skiing.

He said national championship as well as ski competitions for women and children (Shah Khan Ski Championship, Saadia Khan Cup, JCSC Ski Championship, involving 12 teams and 100 odd skiers) will be held at Nalter next month.

These events are part of SFP’s regular training cum competitions programme at the ski resorts of Nalter, Kalabagh and Malam Jabba.