HAVING a tropical climate is not going to stop Malaysia from prepping potential national winter game athletes.
Ski Malaysia recently forged a partnership with Genting Resort Secret Garden — a subsidiary of Genting Group based in China — to train local athletes for international snow sports events, particularly the Winter Olympics 2022.
With the new partnership, Malaysian athletes will have a competitive training ground, the right environment and proper facilities to prepare themselves physically and mentally.
Genting Resort Secret Garden is China’s biggest ski resort and has played host to a number of international sporting events like Far East Cup Circuit and Alpine Ski Racing.
The resort attracts close to 20,000 visitors annually and is bidding to host the Winter Olympics.
Ski Malaysia president, Tan Sri Shahril Shamsuddin said the organisation, founded three years ago with hopes to create history by sending Malaysian athletes to international winter championships, is currently preparing themselves for the Olympics.
“We are looking at this agreement as an early step in changing the norm of winter sports industry,” said Genting Resort Secret Garden chairman Datuk Lim Chee Wah.
“Living in a winterless country should not be an obstacle for people to dream about participating in winter games.
“This will certainly help Malaysian skiers improve their skills. Genting Resort Secret Garden is not only going to be a training ground for Malaysian athletes, but it will also open its door to skiers and snow boarders from all over Southeast Asia,” said Lim who represented Genting to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Ski Malaysia.
One of the three athletes present at the MoU signing ceremony was 20-year-old Othman Mirzan, the grandson of former premier Tun Mahathir Mohamad.
Othman, who is currently pursuing a degree in International Relations at the University of Colorado, said that he has been skiing for a year and a half now and has made his international debut in the North Eastern Ski Championship in North America last November.
Highly passionate about the sport, Othman said he just hoped that he would not come in last in the competition and believed that as a newcomer, he’ll need all the training and motivation to do well.
Details on the national team representing Malaysia for the Winter Olympics 2022 will be announced by Youth and Sport Minister Khairy Jamaluddin on Aug 3.