Pakistani skier Muhammad Karim, the only representative of Pakistan in Sochi Olympic event, beats Indian skier in the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
Born on May 1, 1995, Muhammad Karim is only the second Pakistani ever to compete at the Winter Olympics Games following his friend Mohammad Abbas who competed in 2010. Born and raised among some of the world’s highest mountains in the northern region of Gilgit-Baltistan started skiing at his early age:
“I started skiing at the age of four years on wooden skis made by my uncle. Our schools were closed in the winter and skiing was the only way to spend our holidays”
Karim finished the first run from a 4495 feet track in one minute and 43.44 seconds, scoring 71st position among the 109 other contestants closely followed by his Indian counterpart who secured 72nd position.
Karim had his initial trainings by Pakistan’s ski federation, which is run by Pakistan Air Force who organize annual competitions to support new talent. As Karim’s skills progressed, in 2006 the federation paid for him to go abroad for trainings in Japan, Austria and competed in various regional and continental events. According to Karim:
“When I went to Japan for the first time in 2006 I saw many other skiers and I thought ‘I can do this’ ”
In 2010, a skier from Pakistan Muhammad Abbas competed in Winter Olympics for the first time ever and secured 79th position. Out of the 103 skiers he finished 79th with a time of 1:38.27 in the first run and 1:42.31 in the second run, for a total time of 3:20.58, which was 42.75 seconds off the pace.
Karim is now setting his eyes on the next Winter Olympics and said, “I’ll train and practice harder and hopefully compete in more races”.