Abbas to be seen in action today at Winter Olympics

WHISTLER: Mohammad Abbas, representing Pakistan in Winter Olympics, will be seen in action here today in skis.

For the first time ever Pakistan is taking part in the Winter Olympics with one Alpine skier representing his country in the Giant Slalom race on Tuesday.

Muhammad Abbas learned the sport with his own homemade skis while growing up in the Nalthar Valley, near Gilgit in Northern Pakistan.

When serving with the Pakistani Army he had the opportunity to train on the slopes in Japan for two weeks.

However, Abbas realizes his chances of bringing home Pakistan''s first Winter Olympic gold are slim but he said he wants to finish the race in an "honourable manner."

The slope he trains on in Pakistan is only 500 meters long, not enough for Olympic preparations, so Abbas spent eight weeks abroad preparing for the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Abbas said that he achieved his ambition through hard work and hopes he has inspired other Pakistani athletes to take up the challenge and aim for future Winter Olympic games.