Srinagar: Havildar Nadeem Iqbal has become the first soldier from Jammu and Kashmir to qualify for 15-Km Nordic Free Style skiing event at the Winter Olympics in the Russian city of Sochi.An army spokesman said Iqbal, who hails from a village in Rajouri district, qualified for the main event of 15-Km Nordic Free Style event. “Havildar Nadeem Iqbal has the rare distinction of becoming the first soldier from Jammu and Kashmir to qualify for the Winter Olympics being held at Sochi, Russia and is the only one from three Services as well. He is one among three sportsmen representing the country at the highest pedestal of winter sports,” the spokesman said.

He said the 30-year-old Army Skier joined the Army Ski Team being trained under the aegis of High Altitude Warfare School, Gulmarg in September 2004. “Having gone through a gruelling training cycle under most trying conditions, Iqbal gradually emerged as a promising skier of the prestigious Army Ski Team.

“Ever since he joined the High Altitude Warfare School, which is a premier training establishment of the Indian Army in Winter and Mountain Warfare, he has been trained with a laid out strict training discipline which includes development of basic skills, honing of skiing techniques, provision of specialist equipment and above all a tailor made training package to build his physical and mental robustness,” he added. Havildar Nadeem Iqbal in his journey up to Winter Olympics has gained sufficient experience by participating at various National and International Ski Championships, the spokesman said.

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