Jordan has launched its participation at the 8th Asian Winter Games with Suhail Azzam competing in the Giant Slalom in Sapporo, Japan.
On a difficult course, Suhail successfully completed both of his runs to put him in a confident position ahead of his second event, the Slalom on Friday.
Meanwhile his teammate, Sara Sukhtian, has revealed why she answered the late call to enter the 8th Asian Winter Games by explaining “I hope that it opens the door for more regular Jordan participation in the future”.
The 37-year-old will compete in Thursday’s Giant Slalom in Sapporo, Japan, after agreeing only last month to step in following an invitation from the Olympic Council of Asia.
“It is very important for Jordan to be represented at this event as it gives Jordanian athletes from around the world who excel at winter sports the opportunity to compete at an international level,” Sara said.
“Although Jordan’s natural geography is not conducive for winter sports, I'm certain of the fact that there are many Jordanian expats around the world who have picked up these winter sports and would appreciate the opportunity to participate. Our participation this week raises awareness of those opportunities.”
Sara has been a keen skier since she was three but is making her competitive debut in Sapporo. She says the experience will be one to cherish and her expectations are realistic.
“I am in a field of athletes who have dedicated themselves to these sports so I expect to learn a lot,” she added. “I nevertheless hope to make Jordan proud and pave the way for future athletes to participate.
“I also hope to use this as an opportunity to demonstrate to young Jordanians that the most important thing is not to win but to take part, leading by example.
“I am really proud that the Jordan Olympic Committee (JOC) is going out of its way to increase Jordanian participation in these international games and I would encourage any athlete with such ambitions to reach out to the JOC and sign up to represent Jordan.
“I also want to take this opportunity to thank the JOC for this great chance to represent Jordan.”
The 8th Asian Winter Games got underway on Sunday and will welcome almost 1,000 athletes from 32 countries. It will finish on February 26.