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Saudi Arabia NOC Chef de Mission Mohammed Sehaibani enjoys the Almaty venue tour

Noc News

Saudi Arabia searches for winter sports talent

Date : 31 Mar 2010

Almaty, Kazakhstan: Saudi Arabia’s National Olympic Committee is on the lookout for winter sports talent – but they are not looking for frustrated freestyle skiers in the desert or even in their homeland. Their worldwide search takes in some 100,000 students living overseas and who might have what it takes to represent the kingdom in the 7th Asian Winter Games in Kazakhstan in 2011.

Saudi Arabia was represented by Mohammed Sehaibani at the Chefs de Mission Seminar from March 29-31 in Almaty, and the OCA caught up with him during the venue tour on Wednesday.

“In the past we have gone to the Winter Games just with officials, but this time we are trying to get some athletes to compete in some of the events. This is the start,” he explained.

“We have almost 100,000 students outside our country, in the West, in Europe, the United States and in Asia, and some of them have the chance to practise winter sports as part of their lifestyle. For example we have some students in Finland who have taken up skiing and are displaying good skills, so we will see if some of them would like to participate.

“We have a committee to deal with this, and are contacting students through our government ministry, through the universities and our website. We are also receiving emails from individuals, so there are many different channels of communication.

“This is a good chance for them because the Asian Winter Games is open; there is no qualifying standard at the moment, and that may change in the future if more and more people compete.”

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