CYCLING DREAM: Become Afghanistan's first professional Cross Country Mountain Biker
UPCOMING GOAL: compete Men's A in USA Collegiate Cycling (currently racing Men's B)
YOUR DONATION: enables me to do altitude and technical training in Colorado this summer (July - Sep)
I am an Afghan student at Middlebury College in Vermont, USA. Until I was ten, my family moved around in Pakistan and Iran to escape the conflicts in Afghanistan, circumstances that denied me from engaging with any sport.
In 2011, I came to the U.S. for an exchange program, and my biggest fascination was the abundance of sports facilities for the youth. I tried soccer, tennis, running, and hiking. But two years ago, I discovered mountain biking in New Mexico, and I instantly fell in love with it.
Since then, against many obstacles (cost being the biggest), I have managed to pursue my passion, thanks to friends and family. At first, I rode around Middlebury for fun. Then, a summer last year spent biking in Colorado gave me the confidence to try out races. I started at beginner level in the Eastern Collegiate Cycling Conference (ECCC), and placed second in my first weekend of race. After two more weeks of similar results, I moved up to the intermediate level (Men's B), where I found myself in the middle to top 10 pack.
After a satisfying first season, I am now aiming for Men's A, professional level in collegiate cycling, in the upcoming fall season. To achieve this, it is very important that I return to Colorado this summer, and train in high altitude and difficult terrain. Your contribution will cover this critical moment in my cycling career.
I launched this campaign because international students are not allowed to work off-campus, so a summer job to finance my athletic plans is impossible. I am on full scholarship at my university, and pay my own living expenses from my part-time student job.
The thrill and joy that I felt on my first ride is why I keep biking, as well as my passion to share this exciting sport with young people back in Afghanistan someday, where the sport hasn't grown yet, despite the abundance of vast and beautiful mountain terrains.
But first things first, TRAIN HARD and RACE.
If you believe in late bloomers, this is your chance to be a part of it :) Thank you in advance for your much needed help!