Published On: Tue, Apr 12th, 2016

Muslim skater wants to make history in Olympics


Zahra Lari while skating

The 21-year-old, Zahra Lari, represents the United Arab Emirates, is a professional skater. The native of Abu Dhabi has represented her country in international competitions organized in Slovakia, Hungary, and Italy, more others.

Now Lari wants to go on the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea.

In the year of 2013, the UAE became part of the International Skating Union, which provided the opportunity to Lari to take part in foremost international competitions. If she takes part in the Winter Olympics, then she will make history for her country.

Lari was inspired by the Disney movie Ice Princess and she said that she was crazy for skating at the age of 12.

She told in an interview that “When I first stepped onto the ice, I fell,” she further added, “I knew I just needed to figure out how to get back up and keep trying. So that’s what I did. Fall after fall, I kept getting back up.”

Though, undeterred by the falls, Lari was hooked to the sport. This began as a following school hobby flourished into a strong enthusiasm for the sport.

In 2015, she was used to train almost four to seven hours a day, harmonizing her time on the ice with schoolwork at the Abu Dhabi University.

Whereas her parents were at first cautious regarding her skating, as she told that “There was a period when my dad wanted me to stop because he said I was getting too serious and he felt I had reached the age that I needed to stop,” Lari added, “He always did so with love and kindness.”

She continued that “When there was a national competition, he refused to allow me to participate,” she added, “But in all fairness, he took me to watch and cheer for my fellow teammates. When he saw how happy I was for them but sad for myself, he allowed me to continue. That was when he finally understood me and how much I truly loved this sport.”

She wants to inspire juvenile women, both Muslim and non-Muslim, through her story, her words were, “I wish for all young women to find their passion. To be concerned for their health and well being. To take up sport. To not let small obstacles look like mountains. To strive for their own betterment and to not see the differences in people but to only see the likenesses. This is my wish for all,”

About the Author

Sidra Muntaha

- Sidra Tul Muntaha is a journalist (MA-Mass Communication and M.Phil in Mass Communication) based in Lahore. She is working as an editor at fashion, style and entertainment in the section of the Kooza. She writes fashion and entertainment articles for The Kooza News.