Zahra Lari aims to become first UAE athlete to compete in Winter Olympics

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Zahra Lari aims to become first UAE athlete to compete in Winter Olympics
Zahra Lari heads to the Winter Olympic Qualifiers in an attempt to create history

Dubai - Lari's ultimate goal has always been to compete on this international stage

By KT Sport

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Published: Tue 26 Sep 2017, 8:05 PM

Last updated: Tue 26 Sep 2017, 10:18 PM

The UAE'S first and only figure skating athlete, Zahra Lari, heads to the Winter Olympic Qualifiers in an attempt to create history and become the first UAE athlete to compete at the Winter Olympics, a Press release said.
Lari's ultimate goal has always been to compete on this international stage, wanting to be the first to represent the UAE and carry the flag proudly.
Motivated by the support of her family and country she is determined to achieve her Olympic dream. This mindset has translated into a relentless training with an average of four hours a day, seven days a week for the past seven years.
"My ultimate goal has always been to compete in the Winter Olympics. When I look seven years back, I remember training pretty hard and lonely sometimes. It was all about my will and not giving up. Now people know me and know my story so I have their support," Lari said.
"I am so close now to my goal. And when it gets tough I think of the word Olympics and what that means for my family and nation and that clears my vision and helps me focus on the goal," she added.
Born and raised in the UAE, achieving her dreams didn't always come easy. Zahra first pursuaded her parents to take ice skating lessons after seeing the sport portrayed in a Disney's "Ice Princess", however her journey to success didn't come with an easy start. 
Three years after that first lesson, Lari was executing complicated spins and jumps. 
Continuing to break down stereotypes, Lari became the first international skater to compete wearing a hijab.
"When I started skating I'd get deductions for being covered. They (the judges) had never seen covered skaters before, but after holding several meetings,  I am now proud to say that Hijabi women can skate free of fear," she said. 
Lari wants the world to know that Emirati athletes are strong. "We're confident women who know what we want and we work very hard to accomplish our goals." she said.
The qualifiers will take place between Sept. 26-Oct.1. 



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