This March, the UAE’s first-ever female figure skater and the first figure-skater to perform in a hijab will represent the UAE whilst competing in global sporting event Winter Universiade in Russia. Zahra Lari competed in the EduSport Trophy in Romania, finishing 8th place, and March’s competition marks a new milestone for the athlete, who is training to qualify for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
The Emirati has been sharing snaps on her Instagram ahead of the prestigious event.
“I’m always honoured to represent my country on the international stage, but the Winter Universiade holds a special place in my heart,” says the 24-year-old four-time champion on her upcoming competition. “It’s one of the biggest competitions that I’ve ever gotten the chance to skate in. As always, I’d like to thank the UAE’s leadership for their support and putting their faith in me, and I’ll work my hardest to make the UAE proud in this competition.”
“I have been training really hard this past year, and I was able to significantly improve in many aspects of the sport,” she adds. “There’s always more to work on, but I arrive here with confidence and hope to achieve something great. Whatever happens, to me, it’s always great to compete on the global stage and the experience you gain from it is extremely valuable. So, in a way, I know that whatever happens, I’m going back having learned a lot and with greater readiness for the next challenge.”
The opening ceremony of the 2019 Winter Universiade will take place on 2 March. Zahra Lari is set to compete on 8 and 9 of March.
Press play to watch Bazaar in conversation with the Emirati athlete