Shazia Hassan: South Kashmir’s Ski Mountaineering Trailblazer

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GULMARG: Shazia Hassan, a 35-year-old resident of Uranhall Village in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district, has emerged victorious at the Khelo India Winter Games 2024, securing two silver medals in Ski Mountaineering. Her triumph not only signifies personal achievement but also breaks barriers in a region where such feats are a rarity.

Facing adversity from an early age after losing her father, Shazia took on the responsibility of caring for her family. However, her journey took an unexpected turn when she discovered her passion and talent for Ski Mountaineering upon joining the Jawahar Institutions of Mountaineering and Winter Sports (JIM & WG) in 2010.

Becoming the lone female representative from her locality at the institution, Shazia not only excelled in the sport but also became an instructor, sharing her skills and knowledge with fellow enthusiasts. “Ski Mountaineering is not just a sport, it is a way of life,” she stated, emphasizing the values of overcoming obstacles, facing challenges, and appreciating nature.

Undeterred, she pressed on, determined to prove herself and inspire others. Friends describe her as brave and resolute, refusing to succumb to  pressures.

The turning point in Shazia’s journey came with the opportunity to participate in the Khelo India Winter Games 2024, a national platform aimed at fostering youth engagement in sports. Competing in the Ski Mountaineering vertical race and individual race, Shazia’s talent and spirit shone through, securing two silver medals.

Expressing her gratitude, Shazia acknowledged Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the J&K Sports Council for providing a platform like Khelo India. “I am lucky to live in India, a country that supports and encourages sports. Khelo India has changed my life and inspired many others,” she remarked.

Shazia’s story is a testament to courage, resilience, and excellence, transcending beyond personal victories. In overcoming adversity and pursuing her passion, she has become a beacon of inspiration for countless individuals, proving that with determination and purpose, the impossible is achievable.

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