Update (Feb. 11, 2020): President of Pakistan Arif Alvi visited Malam Jabba to distribute prizes among the winners of 3rd Malam Jabba International Alpine Ski Cup, 4th CAS Karakoram International Alpine Ski Cup and 27th National Ski Championship. He lauded the efforts of the Pakistan Air Force and Winter Sports Federation of Pakistan to promote winter sports in Pakistan.
British High Commissioner Dr Christian Turner took part in the Karakoram International Alpine Ski Cup 2020. He led the team of international skiers belonging to different countries, including Canada, Ukraine, Afghanistan, Greece, Azerbaijan, Timor Leste, Azerbaijan and Turkey. In a video, posted on his social media accounts, Mr. Turner referred to Pakistan as a ‘wonderful country,’ appreciating how ‘Pakistan is changing for the better.’
In the women’s giant slalom category at the 4th CAS Karakoram International Alpine Ski Cup, Khushim Sahiba, a Pakistani skier, outperformed other contestants and bagged the gold medal. She also clinched the gold medal in the same category at the 3rd Malam Jabba International Alpine Ski Cup. The silver medal was received by Elvira Zakarayeva of Azerbaijan, while Umama Wali of Pakistan got the bronze medal.
Ukrainian skiers outperformed other contestants in the men’s giant slalom category at the 4th CAS Karakoram International Alpine Ski Cup. Nazarity Petruk won the gold medal in a close chase with Ivan Kravchuk, who got the silver medal and Aib Vitalli, won the bronze medal.
For adventure-lovers, the winter season brings a plethora of opportunities to celebrate and seek fun. Snow-clad mountainous peaks and plateaus offer multitudinous options to indulge in various winter sports. Pakistan is a beautiful country blessed with some of the highest mountain ranges that provide many avenues for winter sports.
Plus, Conde Nast, an international publication, has declared Pakistan as the best tourist destination for 2020. From skiing, ice curling, snowboarding to various other winter sports, Pakistan is attracting tourists from across the globe. In fact, the country is set to host two international events: International Alpine Ski Cup and CAS International Karakoram Alpine Ski Cup 2020, which will take place from Feb 4 to Feb 9, 2020.
All About FIS International Alpine Ski Cup 2020
The snow-laden mountainous slopes of Malam Jabba are all set to host the International Alpine Ski Cup and CAS International Karakoram Alpine Ski Cup 2020. The Winter Sports Federation Pakistan, in collaboration with Pakistan Air Force, organized the event in a bid to promote winter sports in the country.
A total of 36 international skiers from across the globe have arrived in the picturesque valley of Malam Jabba. Participating countries include Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Canada, Greece, Tajikistan, Timor Leste, Turkey, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.
Competitions will be held in different categories of international ski races at the Malam Jabba Ski Resort. The International Ski Federation (FIS) races will take place in slalom and giant slalom categories, where professional skiers will battle it out for the top spot in the game.
More than 60 national skiers from different regions and belonging to various ski associations of the country will compete with the international skiers at the Alpine Ski Cup 2020. The event will not only help highlight Pakistan’s name in the popular sport on the global stage but also provide an opportunity to national athletes to benefit from the different strategies and expertise the international players will exhibit. The local community is equally excited and thrilled in light of the sporting event taking place at Malam Jabba.
Check out the official promo released by Pakistan Air Force (PAF).
The first-ever International Alpine Ski Cup at Malam Jabba was held in January, 2017, where 32 international participants belonging to 9 countries had participated in the event. Check out how skiing in Pakistan evolved into a thriving winter sport.
How Skiing in Pakistan Evolved as an Exciting Winter Sport
It all began when the locals started using wooden skies for commuting during the harsh winter season. In the beginning, skiing in Pakistan wasn’t considered a sport. Skies were used only for travelling purposes. Pakistan Air Force (PAF) used to conduct snow survival training courses for its aircrew at the Ski School in Naltar Valley.
Training was also given to civilians, students, government departments and also the Pakistan Army. It was only in 1990 that the Ski Federation of Pakistan was created. PAF was given the responsibility to manage the state of affairs at the Ski Federation of Pakistan, which was affiliated with the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA). Internationally, it is also associated with the International Ski Federation (FIS) and the Asian Ski Federation (ASF).
In the following years, skiing in Pakistan started gaining popularity as a proper winter sport. The government of Pakistan, along with the Austrian government, developed a ski resort at Malam Jabba. In 1991, the first National Ski Championship was held at Naltar Valley and the country never looked back; since then, various skiing competitions in Pakistan have been held in different cities on a regular basis.
The Federation prepared athletes for skiing to participate in the Olympic Winter Games (OWG) held in Vancouver, Canada in 2010 and in Sochi, Russia in 2014.
This brought Pakistan to the international arena. However, Pakistan did not possess any international ski slope until then. To overcome this shortcoming, the facility at Naltar was upgraded to an international level resort. A chairlift was installed and the skiing slope was upgraded to 1.5 km. Since the desired gradient of the slope was achieved, experts from the International Ski Federation visited the country to homologate the skiing slope for conducting international skiing competitions in Pakistan. As mentioned, the first-ever FIS Alpine Skiing competition in Pakistan was held in 2017.
The Ski Federation of Pakistan was renamed as Winter Sports Federation of Pakistan in 2018, which introduced various disciplines like ice skating, snowboarding, ice hockey, short track, curling along with grass skiing in Pakistan. Different ice rinks have also been developed on frozen ice lakes in Pakistan to encourage locals to participate in winter sports in the country.
So, this was all there was to know about the exciting international skiing championship being held in Malam Jabba. If you are interested to know more about various other winter sports in Pakistan, then stay tuned to the country’s best lifestyle and tourism blog.
If you are an athlete or love winter sports, don’t forget to write to us and share your experience with us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will surely get back to you. Subscribe to Zameen Newsletter appearing on the right hand side of the page.