By Bibi Marjan
Amina and Ifrah Wali (born to Pakistan Army Office Amjad Wali in Ghizer Valley, Gilgit-Baltistan) are Pakistani alpine skiers, who started their career in skiing at very young ages at the Army High Altitude School, Rattu, Astore, while their father was posted there. At that time, Amina and Ifrah were aged four and three years respectively.
From the very start, Amina and her sister Ifrah started showcasing their skiing talents very skilfully. They are famous as the Wali Sisters and the Skiing Sisters from Gilgit-Baltistan.
The Wali Sisters have bagged several prizes for their skiing performances. They have attributed their skiing success to their father, saying he has been a source of inspiration and motivation for them to go ahead with their skiing endeavors. The young girls’ father also mentored both of his daughters in skiing, further polishing their skills and enabling them to compete at the national and international levels. The skiing sisters have also been extensively practicing skiing in Naltar Valley.
The Wali Sisters participated for the first time in a large skiing championship in the National Championships in 2002. They bagged their first medals in 2005 at the National Skiing Championship held at Malam Jabba, Swat.
Amina and Ifrah have also undergone extensive skiing training, both nationally and internationally, including participation in a skiing training in Austria in 2008 and another in Japan in 2007.
In Jan. 2011, Amina, then 19, and Ifrah, then 17, secured first and second place respectively in the South Asian Winter Games held in India after beating Sri Lanka, Nepal and India. Their win in India brought them to the international limelight and made Pakistan proud.
The Skiing Sisters from GB have made their way to the qualifying rounds of the forthcoming Winter Olympics that would be held in Sochi, Japan, in 2014. If they succeed, they would be the first Pakistani women to participate in the Winter Olympics.
The skiing sisters have not only excelled in skiing, but also education. Amina is doing Bachelor of Sciences in environmental sciences at the Karakorum International University, Gilgit, while Ifrah is enrolled at the National University of Science and Technology Business School. The people of Gilgit-Baltistan hold Amina and Ifrah in greater esteem and wish them all the best.