Kathmandu, March 21
Safal Ram Shrestha entered the ice sport in 2010 with little knowledge. And the 17-year-old Shrestha has improved a lot in six years time. He has already participated in the Winter Youth Olympic Games, although he failed to make a mark
Shrestha, who runs Slalom and Giant Slalom races, first participated in the Children Competition in South Korea in 2010. He was convinced by his father, Jeevan Ram Shrestha — also the president of Nepal Ski Association and Nepal Olympic Committee — to enter the sport. The same year, he attended two camps, in Austria and India. He then took part in four FIS Races in 2014 and 2015 — one each in South Korea and Japan and two in China.
In China, Shrestha became the only Nepali player to complete the race among five participants that helped him earn the qualifying points for the Winter Youth Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway. “I could not do well in Norway but I learnt a lot from there,” said Shrestha. “I could meet international friends. Some were like us who do not have ski slope in their countries, while others were highly qualified,” said Shrestha. “I interacted with them and that will help me in my future participations,” he added. Shrestha missed a gate in Slalom race and was disqualified from the event, while he fell down in the Giant Slalom race and could not complete the distance.
Shrestha has a dream of becoming the first ski medallist for the country. “I want to win first international medal in ski and that is possible,” said Shrestha. “If I get adequate training and things go as per my planning, I can do that in 2-3 years,” he said. The A-Level second year student at GEMS Institute of Higher Education has been looking for a university in America and Europe with ski facilities. “I have found a couple of universities. If I get the chance to enroll in such university, I can fulfil my dreams of winning the medal for Nepal,” he said.
“The benefit of such colleges is that they have their own teams and I can get a lot of training from them.” Shrestha said his family keeps on encouraging him to take the sport. “Actually I came into the sport because of my father and other members of the family are also supportive,” he said.
A version of this article appears in print on March 22, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.