Winter Games: Skiing sisters from Punial make history

Published: February 20, 2011
Gold and silver medalists, Amina and Ifrah Wali. PHOTO: SHABBIR MIR

Gold and silver medalists, Amina and Ifrah Wali. PHOTO: SHABBIR MIR

GILGIT: They say blood is thicker than water, but as soon as sisters Amina and Ifrah Wali strap on their skis on the slopes of snowy mountains, they prove themselves to be fierce opponents indeed.

The Wali sisters, who belong to Gilgit-Baltistan’s Punial Valley, brought home a gold and silver medal they won for Pakistan in the recently concluded first South Asian Winter Games. They won after defeating contestants from Sri Lanka, Nepal and India in the giant slalom event in Auli, India.

This is the first time that any Pakistani female athlete has won a medal in the South Asian Games for ski events.

“It is really great to see Pakistan’s flag fluttering high,” said Amina, the eldest daughter of Amjad Wali, a colonel in the army.

The Wali sisters, who are still in their teens, have a rich history of wins in various national level competitions in Pakistan. Both sisters have claimed top spots in more than half a dozen competitions held in Gilgit-Baltistan’s Naltar area and Malam Jabba in Swat since 2005.

Amina and Ifrah, the progeny of the Gushpur family, the former royal family of the Punial Valley district Ghizer, excelled in the art of skiing mainly because they spent most of their childhood growing up in Ratto – a snow-capped area of Astore Valley where their father was posted in the army for nearly 11 years.

Col Amjad told this correspondent that his daughters had entered the competition without enough practice because of insufficient snowfall this winter.

Amina, 17, is a student of 2nd year FSc while Ifrah is doing her matriculation from the Army Public School in Gilgit. “I was 4 when I started skiing,” said Ifrah, who plans to join the army as a software engineer. Amina plans to become a doctor.

After being stuck in Islamabad for 18 days, owing to the suspension of flights because of bad weather, the skiers finally managed to return to Gilgit on Friday.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 20th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (49)

  • isfandyar
    Feb 20, 2011 - 10:57AM

    Goods job !!!!!!Recommend

  • Timur Beg
    Feb 20, 2011 - 11:42AM

    WELL DONE You are our pride!Recommend

  • Sajid mir
    Feb 20, 2011 - 12:26PM

    Indeed it is a great honor for the two ski chapeons, winning asian ski titles for their country and remote area gilgit-baltistan. Though no wellcome reception has been provided to chapeon sisters by syed mehdi shah led govt but we the people of this region are proud for the splendid performance of two sisters without practice and local govt supervision and finance. I also request president and prime minister of pakistan to honor chapeons with highest medal.Recommend

  • Ali
    Feb 20, 2011 - 12:43PM

    Well done May Allah bless you Recommend

  • Mehnaz Marfi
    Feb 20, 2011 - 12:48PM

    Hi gals..congratulations…ur r proud pakistanisRecommend

  • parvez
    Feb 20, 2011 - 2:15PM

    This is the sort of news along with the picture, that should be on the front pages of all our news papers.
    Way to go girls !! You and your family should rightly be proud.Recommend

  • kashif ayaz
    Feb 20, 2011 - 2:20PM

    well done!!!
    n keep winning…..Recommend

  • Sana
    Feb 20, 2011 - 2:29PM

    Great work..!!!Recommend

  • Feb 20, 2011 - 2:41PM

    I offer my heartest congratulation to our daughters Amina and Ifrah who belong to Balawaristan (Pakistan and China Occupied Gilgit Baltistan) for theiir wining Gold and Silver medals in ski championship. Really we proud of them. I also congratulate Col. Amjad who has given full chance and encouragement to his daughters, is spite of all odds in our society where girls are usually discouraged for outdoor games.

    Its irony wherever and whenever any benefit or good chance like the winning of name or financial benefits come, Pakistan claims withiout hesitant that Gilgit Baltistan is in Pakistan, but when time for rights and rule comes they deny. Though Col. Amjad serving in Pakistan, like many people serve in other countries, he is no Pakistani according to Pakistan’s law and constitution. I know this truthness does not suit to Col. Amjad and he will definately deny this for his personal reason. I salute his bold step regarding his daughters.Recommend

  • momna jahan
    Feb 20, 2011 - 2:54PM

    congrats cxns!!!
    way to go gals!!!!
    u ve made our whole family really very proud!!!
    not just da ‘Family’
    our best wishes r wid u gals!!!!

  • Mehnaz Marfi
    Feb 20, 2011 - 3:08PM

    I agree this should be on front page. only killing news are there these days. we should have such good news alsoRecommend

  • Yasir
    Feb 20, 2011 - 3:45PM

    Both the sisters have proved that if people from under privileged areas are given chance they can also excel in any walk of life. Amina and Ifrah you have made the people of Gilgit Baltistan very delighted and proud.

    May ALLAH bless u both. Keep it up.Recommend

  • Sarah
    Feb 20, 2011 - 3:50PM

    you go girls!!!

    so proud :)

    you’ve made Pakistan shine!Recommend

  • Iftikhar-ur-Rehman
    Feb 20, 2011 - 4:03PM

    Well done Girls.Recommend

  • Sajjad Haider
    Feb 20, 2011 - 4:57PM

    Bravo to both sisters!

    We wish them every success and new milestones to achieve in days to come. Recommend

  • Bashir Haider
    Feb 20, 2011 - 6:07PM

    Apart from the issue Hamid sb, We should also thank this Express tribune for sparing space for G-B. You will not find so much room in other paprs for our Gilgit, which is now provincial headquarter. Recommend

  • Aroob
    Feb 20, 2011 - 8:54PM

    Wow!!! Well done, duo!Recommend

  • Arsalana
    Feb 20, 2011 - 10:03PM

    Wonderful girls. You are the Champions. I am soo happy to see such a GOOD News after long time.Recommend

  • Feb 20, 2011 - 10:46PM

    ITS A SHAME that its not a big news in pakistan.
    what they have done is worth NISH-E-HAIDER but alas now a days only murderes and corrupts get massive coverageeven media is generally only interested in sensational news items?

    Prime minster should invite them for an honourary dinner
    well done these are the daughters of pakistan
    ZINDA BAD Recommend

  • Ch Allah Daad
    Feb 20, 2011 - 11:19PM

    All of us are proud of these young ladies and their family on providing them opportunities to excel in their lives, at the same time I am ashamed of Abdul Hamid Khan, who spoiled our proudest moment by unwarranted political comments.Recommend

  • Aamir
    Feb 21, 2011 - 12:18AM

    Mashah ALLAH, you made me feel proud, may ALLAH (SWT) bless you both….Ameen.Recommend

  • mk
    Feb 21, 2011 - 2:31AM

    well done – u have made us really proud. God bless!Recommend

    Feb 21, 2011 - 3:57AM

    wow now we have two more heros. well done Recommend

  • Bushra Zamir
    Feb 21, 2011 - 6:42AM

    Congratulations….sister power all the way…the men are leaving this globe in a mess….let woman rule in the workplace….politics….governmentarts…eduction…and inshallah one day the men of this world will live in a world that the women have created for peace & posterity!!Recommend

  • Sajid I. Barcha
    Feb 21, 2011 - 8:32AM

    Congratulations and best of luck for the future competitions!Recommend

  • Ajaz Hussain
    Feb 21, 2011 - 9:31AM

    Really a great news for all pakistanies specialy Gilgit Baltistanies.

    You have done a great jog. Keep it up!Recommend

  • Yaseen
    Feb 21, 2011 - 9:47AM

    Congratulation to both of u. Bravo sisters made us proud. God Bless You.Recommend

  • Feb 21, 2011 - 12:59PM

    Very well done!
    Daughters of Gilgit Baltistan, we all are proud of you. Salutes to your parents who encouraged the positive talent and make us all proud. Let’s keep the momentum and rise!Recommend

  • Hina Sher
    Feb 21, 2011 - 3:10PM

    Dear Sisters,

    Wonderfull achievement.You both are a great source of inspiration for others in the world of sports.You are the cause of happiness and pride for not only Gilgit-Baltistan but forthe whole country.Best of luck in future and keep going.Sky is the limit.Try to go beyond the horizons of the sky.Once again best wishes.

    Hina Sher.

  • appa jee
    Feb 21, 2011 - 4:00PM

    WELL DONE……its an excellant reply for those who think that in Pakistan females are not allowed to play or participate in sports or games,if have tellant we are not only allowed and the whole nation is behind usRecommend

  • aiwain
    Feb 21, 2011 - 4:05PM

    SHABASH SPARKLE! :) khush raho. Recommend

  • Rashid Ullah Beg
    Feb 21, 2011 - 6:00PM

    We are proud of you our daughters. Well done and keep it up.Recommend

    Feb 21, 2011 - 8:45PM

    Well done walli sisters. Keep it up, it is realy amazing to win such a thriling game, that too girls from north, indeed it is amazingRecommend

  • IQU
    Feb 21, 2011 - 9:56PM

    congratulations …..u both sisters and keep it up to make us proud on the daughters of PAKISTAN….!!!:-)Recommend

  • Humanity
    Feb 21, 2011 - 10:59PM

    Quam ke asli betiyan .. Shabaash!

    Keep them under the radar, safe from the control freak, good for nothing mullah!Recommend

  • merium azmi
    Feb 21, 2011 - 11:28PM

    This is great!!! way to go girls.Recommend

  • noni
    Feb 22, 2011 - 3:44AM

    Go ahead girls..very well doneRecommend

  • Maria
    Feb 22, 2011 - 11:15AM

    @Abdul Hamid Khan: What a sore loser you are. Did you not hear that the girls exclaim that they were proud to see their Pakistani flag raised high after their win. Moreover one of the sisters plans on joining the Pakistani military when she completes her education. I can’t understand how Indians like you can say your comments with a straight face when the reality is that the people of Gilgit Baltistan are perhaps the most loyal citizens of Pakistan. So many of them have given their lives in wars against India because they actively fought for their freedom in 1947. Congratulations to the girls on behalf of all Pakistanis. As for the sore losers out there from India, just learn to ski better and just try to compete better in the next competition instead of making silly comments. It’s sport after all.Recommend

  • Karim Javed
    Feb 22, 2011 - 12:07PM

    Nice to hear that 2 girls from my homeland grab gold and silver hats off.Recommend

  • cidpusaorg
    Feb 22, 2011 - 7:23PM

    Pakistanis are number 1 and 2 Subhanallah

    You two are AmazingRecommend

  • Ali2
    Feb 22, 2011 - 10:31PM

    Mashallah Well done! Keep up the good work!Recommend

  • sajjad
    Feb 23, 2011 - 7:50AM

    weldone keep it up pakistan zindabadRecommend

  • Ali Hussaini
    Feb 23, 2011 - 9:33AM

    Weldone Recommend

  • Muhammad Arif
    Feb 23, 2011 - 9:49AM

    i like both sister effort. and my prayers are with them to bright the name of Pakistan in all world.

    Best of Luck Both Sisters.
    Muhammad Arif

  • Waleem Wali Khan
    Feb 23, 2011 - 4:17PM

    Well done brave girls, the whole nation is proud of you. God bless you.Recommend

  • Ghulamuddin Hunzai
    Feb 23, 2011 - 7:30PM

    Great achievement by the two daughters of Gilgit Baltistan…..GBians r really proud of you…keep it up…….Recommend

    Feb 23, 2011 - 7:55PM


  • Apr 12, 2011 - 1:03AM

    Indeed it was great pleasure and honor for us – the people of Gilgit-Baltistan. I wish you God Speed :))Recommend

  • Apr 12, 2011 - 1:04AM

    @momna jahan:
    Excellent job girls. You made the whole Gilgit Baltistan proud. BravoRecommend

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