Arif Khan is an Indian athlete who represents India in Alpine Skiing – slalom and giant slalom events. In November 2021, Arif Khan was chosen in the quota to represent India in Alpine Skiing – slalom events, which were announced to be organised at Beijing Winter Olympics in February 2022. Arif became the first Indian Skiing athlete who was chosen to represent India in the Winter Olympics. In another meeting, which was held in December 2021 at Montenegro, it was decided that Arif would represent India in the Alpine Skiing – giant slalom too. Arif has represented India in more than a hundred international skiing events.
Arif Khan was born on Saturday, 3 March 1990 (age 31 years; as of 2021) in Gulmarg, Jammu & Kashmir, India. His zodiac sign is Pisces.
Height (approx.): 5′ 8″
Weight (approx.): 60 kg
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Light Brown
Parents & Siblings
His father’s name is Yasin Khan, and Yasin Khan, who owns a Ski equipment shop in Gulmarg, Jammu & Kashmir.
He has a brother named Merajudin Khan.
Wife & Children
He is not married.
Arif Khan began competing in Ski state-level championships when he was ten. When Arif Khan was twelve, he was the winner of the gold medal at a national level championship in the slalom event. Arif marked his international debut by representing India at a junior international ski federation (FIS) event organised at Yomase, Japan, when Arif was sixteen years old. When Arif Khan was seventeen, he was ranked among the fifteen top skiers after he finished 23rd at the Changchun Asian Games held in China. In 2011, at the South Asian Winter Games, Arif won two gold medals both in the slalom and giant slalom Alpine Skiing events. Arif Khan finished 59th in the slalom and 91st in the giant slalom Skiing events in the FIS World Ski Championships held in 2013. He was qualified for the finals of the game for the first time in 2021 when Arif Khan finished 45th in the giant slalom in Italy. Arif Khan runs a Ski training academy, the National Ski Academy of India (NSAI), in Jammu and Kashmir. In November 2021, he was chosen for the Beijing Winter Olympics that were announced to be held in February 2022.
- His full name is Mohammad Arif Khan.
- Arif Khan is a trained golfer and cyclist.
- According to Arif Khan, Skiing was a convenient game for him in his childhood as there were several thick snow slopes in his hometown. In an interview with a media house, Arif Khan stated that he loved to play football and cricket, but there were no big playgrounds available to practice the game.
- In a conversation with a media house, Arif Khan stated that he began skiing when he was four years old. He talked about the days when he and his father used to reach the shops in Gulmarg while sloping on the thick snow as the shops were miles away from his home. Gradually, Arif Khan started practising skiing for hours. He said,
It was in 1994. We had to walk about 500 metres to the ski shop. And there was thick snow. My father had groomed a small ski slope just outside the shop. We started (skiing) at around 9.30 AM and went on for hours.”
- According to the father of Arif Khan, Ski is a very costly game. Initially, he invested all his funds to arrange the Ski equipment for Arif Khan. With the passage of time, Arif Khan started instructing skiing to other athletes in his hometown so that he could earn to manage his practice expenses.
- Once, Arif Khan failed to arrange the funds to participate in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in 2018. Although he tried hard to arrange the funds from crowdfunding to cover the shortage, it all was in vain. An amount of Rs. 17.46 lakh was granted to him for Ski training in Europe and the procurement of equipment by the sports ministry of India in 2021. Soon after receiving the funds, in a conversation with a media house, Arif paid his gratitude to the Sports Authority of India and the Target Olympics Podium Scheme (TOPS) for helping him financially. He said,
It was great to get the support of SAI as a part of TOPS. It helped me buy the equipments, pay the bills of the coaches. Everyone in my skiing fraternity is happy that the government is recognising the sport.”
- Arif Khan postponed his marriage that was due in September 2021 due to his selection in the 2022 Winter Olympics. This was revealed by his father in a conversation with a media reporter.
- According to Arif Khan, his father is his mentor who played a crucial role in shaping his athletic career. He stated in an interview that he admired his father a lot. He explained,
My father has played the main role in my career. He raised me as an athlete and provided me with support whenever it was needed.”
- Arif Khan was excited to represent India in the 2022 Winter Olympics, and he wanted to put India on the Skiing map. Arif Khan explained his desires in a press conference that was held soon after his selection for the Beijing Winter Olympics. He said,
I want to put my country on the skiing map. If I can achieve something, the global skiing community will take note of where I am from. It might make them see India as a potential top skiing destination.”
- Arif Khan remains very active on various social media platforms. More than 1.7k people follow Arif Khan on Instagram and 2.8k people follow him on Facebook. Career motivational quotes are often posted by Arif Khan on his Instagram account.
- An amount of Rs. ten lakh was granted to Arif Khan by Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha for advanced training in Skiing.