|Arif Khan Quick Info|
|Height||5 ft 8 in|
|Date of Birth||March 9, 1990|
|Eye Color||Dark Brown|
Arif Khan is an Indian alpine skier who won the ‘Gold’ medal in both the slalom (an alpine skiing and alpine snowboarding discipline that involves skiing between poles or gates) and giant slalom (skiing between sets of poles or gates spaced at a greater distance from each other than in slalom) disciplines of the alpine skiing (also known as downhill skiing; the sport of sliding down snow-covered slopes on skis with fixed-heel bindings, unlike other types of skiing (cross-country, telemark, or ski jumping) which use skis with free-heel bindings) event at the 2011 Dehradun and Auli South Asian Winter Games, the inaugural edition of the South Asian Winter Games. He represented India at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics in both the slalom and giant slalom disciplines. He did not finish the race in the former discipline and ended up in the 45th position in the latter. That 45th position was the best result in the discipline by any Indian in the history of the Winter Olympics. Arif also previously competed at the 2017 Sapporo Asian Winter Games as well as the FIS (Fédération Internationale de Ski et de Snowboard) Alpine World Ski Championships in 2013 (59th in slalom and 91st in giant slalom), 2015 (did not finish the race in slalom and 101st in giant slalom), 2019 (79th in slalom and 116th in giant slalom), and 2021 (did not finish the race in slalom and 45th in giant slalom). That 45th position was the first time he had qualified for the final in any senior world championship event.
Arif Mohammad Khan
Gulmarg, Baramulla, Jammu and Kashmir, India
Tangmarg, Baramulla, Jammu and Kashmir, India
- Father – Yasin Khan (Owner of a Skiing Equipment shop)
- Siblings – Merajudin Khan (Younger Brother). He also has an older sister.
Slalom, Giant slalom
5 ft 8 in or 173 cm
69 kg or 152 lbs
Girlfriend / Spouse
Arif’s father had revealed in an interview that Arif was set to get married in September 2021 but postponed the wedding to focus on qualifying for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.
Race / Ethnicity
- Toned physique
- Short-cropped, side-parted hair
- Affable smile
- Sports a thick beard
Arif Khan Facts
- Arif was born and raised in Gulmarg, a hill station in northern India that is arguably the most popular skiing destination in the country. He used to play soccer and cricket as a child but the lack of proper facilities for those sports in his area pushed him to try skiing.
- He began participating in competitive skiing events by the time he turned 10 years old. Just about 2 years later, he won the ‘Gold’ medal in the slalom discipline in his debut appearance at the national championship.
- He made his international debut for India at the age of 16 at a junior FIS event in Yomase, Japan. He finished in the 23rd position in the giant slalom discipline.
- With skiing being an expensive sport, it was Arif’s father who funneled his income from his ski equipment shop into his son’s career. Arif also used to double up as a skiing instructor, occasionally, to make up for any shortfall in funding.
- Ahead of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, he even had to turn to crowdfund to cover his expenses in the lead-up to the event. However, he fell short by a small margin and his dream of participating in the Winter Olympics had to wait for a few more years.
- At the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, Arif was the only Indian competitor. The country had sent a 6-member contingent that included a coach, a technician, and a team manager. As he was the country’s only competitor, he was India’s flag bearer at the opening ceremony there.
- He is also the first Indian to have secured direct quota spots (direct qualification) in two disciplines (slalom and giant slalom) in the same edition of the Winter Olympics.
Featured Image by Arif Khan / Instagram