International skiers take to the slopes in Pakistan

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The Naltar Ski Resort in the Karakoram mountain range where the competition took place is at the heart of Pakistan's attempts to build up its winter sports tourism industry. (AFP)
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Dozens of skiers in late January took part in a rare international competition in Pakistan, which boasts some of the world's highest mountains but remains off-piste for most winter sportsmen due to years of insecurity and lack of infrastructure. (AFP)
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The CAS Karakoram International Alpine Ski Cup was taking place at the Pakistan Air Force-owned and operated Naltar Ski Resort, some 25km north of Gilgit in Pakistan’s remote mountainous north. (AFP)
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Skiers at the Naltar event were hosted by the Pakistan Air Force. (AFP)
Updated 11 February 2019

International skiers take to the slopes in Pakistan

  • Pakistan is home to several peaks higher than 8,000 meters including K2, the second-tallest mountain in the world
  • Security has dramatically improved across Pakistan following a crackdown on militant groups in recent years

NALTAR, Pakistan: Skiers descend in long, rhythmic swoops down pristine white slopes in northern Pakistan, braking in a spray of snow as soldiers carrying semi-automatic weapons watch impassively.
Dozens of athletes took part at a rare international competition in the South Asian country, which boasts some of the world’s highest mountains but remains off-piste for most winter sports enthusiasts after years of conflict and a lack of infrastructure.
Nestled in the Karakoram mountain range, the Naltar Ski Resort has been at the heart of Pakistan’s efforts to draw winter sport tourists since the first international competition was held there in 2015.
“Pakistan has a lot of things to learn but with every year it’s getting better,” said Ukrainian skier Anastasiia Gorbunova, who admitted she used to think it was a “pretty dangerous country.”
“Now I know it’s a cliche because as I saw, people are sweet, they are nice, they try to make you feel like you’re at home and I appreciate that.”
Security has dramatically improved across Pakistan following a crackdown on militant groups in recent years.

Authorities recently re-opened another resort in the nearby Swat Valley that had been closed for years by insurgent activity, while other ski facilities are being developed elsewhere in the country.
Laura Moore, a representative of the International Ski Federation with the Azerbaijan team, said Pakistan boasted unrivalled ski conditions.
But she added that lengthy road travel and the regular grounding of flights during inclement weather made access to ski fields a tricky prospect — “off-piste and maybe with a helicopter.”
“I think it’s definitely more for the adventurer,” Moore said at Sunday’s competition.
Pakistan is home to several peaks higher than 8,000 meters including K2, the second-tallest mountain in the world.
Skiers at the Naltar event were hosted by the Pakistan Air Force, who own the ski resort and facilitated their transport from the capital Islamabad.
“Not all countries have mountains like this,” Berkin Usta, a Turkish skier who won the men’s Grand Slalom event. “It’s really good.”


Floyd Mayweather posts video about heading to Saudi Arabia for talks on Manny Pacquiao rematch

Updated 19 August 2019

Floyd Mayweather posts video about heading to Saudi Arabia for talks on Manny Pacquiao rematch

  • Mayweather, the undefeated 50-0 fighter, beat Pacquiao at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in 2015
  • Mayweather's last two fights saw him in a bout against MMA champion Conor McGregor in August 2017 and rookie Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa

LONDON: Floyd Mayweather released a video on Sunday saying he was traveling to Saudi Arabia for talks on a rematch with Filipino boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao.
Mayweather, the undefeated 50-0 fighter, beat Pacquiao at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in 2015 and it looks like the Kingdom could host the second bout between the two.

In the video, Mayweather said: “It’s an honor to come to Saudi Arabia to sit down with you guys to talk about the Mayweather vs Pacquiao rematch. Saudi Arabia — Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather — I’m on my way.”
Mayweather's last two fights saw him in a bout against MMA champion Conor McGregor in August 2017 and rookie Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa on New Year’s Eve, the latter not counting toward his professional record.
There has been no official announcement from Saudi authorities.