Arguably the world’s best known and most successful snowboarder, three-time Olympic gold medallist in half-pipe snowboarding Shaun White, has paid a visit to Ski Dubai and met with some of the centre’s sponsored athletes.
White (pictured fifth from left above), who has competed at five Olympics and holds the world record for the most X Games gold medals and most Olympic gold medals by a snowboarder, retired after the Beijing Games earlier this year.
15 young athletes met White including Emirati snowboarder
Amenah Almuhairi (13), who had just posted a victory at the FIS (International
Ski Federation) Platak Open 2 Competition in Croatia where she won a total of
11 medals and became the first female athlete to represent the UAE at an
international freestyle snowboarding competition.
“I am incredibly excited to be in Ski Dubai and to meet with its team of Sponsored Athletes,” said White, adding, “Having recently retired from competitive snowboarding, I’m ready to pass the torch on to the next generation and I was hugely impressed with the level of talent, skill and dedication that I witnessed amongst the team today. Attracting young athletes and nurturing their development is vital for sporting success and I look forward to watching the UAE represented at the Olympics in the near future.”
Ski Dubai established the Sponsored Athletes programme in
2017 and currently has 33 high calibre male and female athletes from eight
different nationalities on the programme, ranging in age from 10-20 years old.
Ski Dubai provides the skiers and snowboarders with a range of benefits
including unlimited slope access and more than 90 hours of coaching with its
expert instructors who have trained numerous elite athletes.
Speaking at the event, Mohammad El Etri, Vice President, Global Snow, Majid Al Futtaim Leisure, Entertainment & Cinemas said, “Our aspiration is to be a global hub for snow sports and build a national team who can represent the UAE at the world’s most prestigious sporting events. We believe that this begins with having a sustainable grassroots development programme and, through our Sponsored Athletes initiative, we are establishing a snow sports community in the region and producing a steady pipeline of athletes. Shaun is an inspiration and role model to the next generation of snowboarders and his visit to Ski Dubai is a further step in our ongoing commitment to nurture emerging athletes. We hope this is the first of many trips to Ski Dubai and the Emirate!”