by Gao Wencheng
TEHRAN, Jan. 10 (Xinhua) -- "I hope to be able to qualify for the Beijing Winter Olympics and I would very much like to go to China," said 17-year-old Fatemeh Kia Shemshaki, an Iranian Alpine skier who is participating in the ongoing qualification competitions for the Olympics held by Iran's national skiing team in Darbandsar Ski Resort.
Kia Shemshaki has been skiing since she was three and turned professional at 11. "All participants are making great efforts to qualify for the Olympics," she said. "I hope anyone who deserves it is able to qualify."
With the Winter Olympics less than one month away, Iran's Alpine skiers are vying for a chance to compete on the world's biggest sporting stage in Beijing.
Zahra Sulghani, another Iranian Alpine skier who is 21 years old and has also been skiing since she was three, said "the competitions have a very good level and the contests are very tough."
"I hope that everybody is successful and achieves the results they desire," she added.
According to Mousa Saveh Shemshaki, head of the technical committee of the Iran Ski Federation, ahead of the Beijing Winter Olympics, Iran's top skiers have attended contests held in Turkey and competitions held in Iran's Tochal Ski Resort, Darbandsar, and Dizin International Ski Resort next week.
"Despite the insufficient snowfall, thanks to the snowmaking machine in Darbandsar, we managed to make snow, so as to host the qualification competitions and attract people to ski," said Saveh Shemshaki.
Despite being located in Western Asia, Iranians love skiing thanks to the country's snowy mountains. Among the spectators at Darbandsar was 15-year-old Sahel Saveh Shemshaki. Her main job is to maintain the slopes before and after the athletes compete, providing the young ski lover with an opportunity to learn from the best in her country.
"I like the 2022 Winter Olympics in China and am especially interested in it," she said. "I hope to take part in a similar competition in the future."
Mohammad Kiyadarbandsari, 33, has already realized his dream of competing in the Olympics and has represented Iran twice in Sochi and PyeongChang. His biggest wish now is a ticket to embark on his third Olympic Games in Beijing.
Kiyadarbandsari started skiing at the age of two and took part in competitions from the age of seven. "Fortunately, the situation has unfolded in such a way that I have managed to maintain my physical condition to take part in competitions," he said.
"I hope I can book a berth at the Beijing Winter Olympics," said Kiyadarbandsari, adding that if he fails to achieve that, he hopes "anybody takes part in the Olympics as Iran's representative would manage to achieve the best results."
As he observed, China, in the past, has always held international competitions successfully, and China will "definitely hold the Winter Olympics, which is the most important sports event, in the best possible way and form."
"I hope that the upcoming Winter Olympics would promote brotherhood, friendship and intimacy among all countries," Kiyadarbandsari added.