The sports authorities in central Ghor province say that eight athletes from different disciplines have completed heavy training in the frozen Harirud river in Firuzkoh, the provincial capital of Ghor.
Hamidullah Hemaq, head of physical education and sports of Ghor province told the media on Monday, that these heavyweight sportsmen conducted an exercise in the icy cold weather, a symbolic gesture, to show strength, unity, and empathy of the Afghan people.
Mr. Hemaq asked sports institutions and the people of Afghanistan to support athletes so that they would become great remodels among the young generation.
Raqeeb Farooqi, known as the ‘Ice Man’ of Afghanistan is from Ghor province. He became popular after one of his videos went viral on social media, exercising heavy weight training in minus 22 degrees in the frozen Harirud river a few years ago.
“Today, athletes have gathered and displayed their physical strength in Harirud river. Our goal is to display the physical strength of the athletes – the unity and empathy of the people of Afghanistan,” Farooqi said.
This freestyle athlete added that every year Ghori sportsmen do heavy training in order to boost their physical strength in the cold and icy weather of Firouzkuh.
Jan Mohammad Heydari and Mohammad Qasim Ferdowsi are two other athletes, known as the snowmen of Afghanistan. They want the government and sports-related organizations to support the athletes so that they can carry out their exercises and make Afghanistan proud.
The lack of facilities and proper training venues are some of the key challenges the athletes are faced in Ghor province, which needs the immediate attention of sports institutions and the central government of Afghanistan.
Since the overthrow of the previous regime last year, not much attention has been paid to the development of sports. Due to the overwhelming issues the Taliban regime is currently plagued with, sports, entertainment, cross-cultural engagements, and all have been put in the margin.