The 31-year-old, Alpine skier, Mohammad Arif Khan has received a grant of Rs 17.46 lakh to train in Europe after being included in Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS), Sports Ministry said on Friday.

Khan will take part in the Beijing, China event scheduled from February 4, 2022.

The amount has been approved by the Sports Ministry’s Mission Olympic Cell (MOC) after including him in the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) Core group.

The grant is meant for training in Europe and procurement of equipment, ahead of the grand event in China.

Khan will take part in the Winter Olympics in the Slalom and Giant Slalom events.

He is currently training in Austria and is accompanied by his coach and physio.

The MOC has approved a European training camp for him for 35 days, which has already started since his qualification for the Winter Olympics.

He won the quota in the giant Slalom in a competition in Montenegro in December last year. A month prior, he earned the quota place for the Slalom event.

Besides being the first athlete from the country to seal a berth at the Winter Olympic games 2022. The feat earned him the unique distinction of becoming the first Indian to win direct quota spots in two different Winter Olympics events.

Hailing from a remote village in Hajibal in the Tangmarg area of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district, Khan has represented India in around 100 various international platforms which include countries like the USA, Japan, Turkey, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Lebanon, Austria, etc.

Khan has also won two gold medals, in the Slalom and Giant Slalom events, at the 2011 South Asian Winter Games, held in Uttarakhand.

Speaking to Rising Kashmir, Arif Khan said that the grant is not only a support but it means the winter sports athletes are getting recognized by the sports authority in the country.

Khan also thanked MOC for recognizing his efforts.

 Khan said he believes people in Jammu and Kashmir have a choice now for their children to make a future in this sport as it is now highly recognized.

 “Apart from this, the funds will definitely help me train and perform better in the Olympic events,” he added.

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