“If there is paradise on earth it is here, it is here, it is here.” This famous line by Mughal emperor Jehangir still holds true for Kashmir. The fifth National Winter Games kicked off Monday in Gulmarg amidst heavy snowfall.
As many as 17 teams and 500 participants from all over the country will participate in the games. During the inaugural ceremony, Indian Olympic association (IOA) president, Suresh Kalmadi, said that those who performed well at the games would be sent for the Winter Olympic Games to be held in Canada in 2010.
He was all praise for the picturesque ski-resort, which is organising the games for the third time.
“I want international games here. I think Gulmarg is the best destination for international games.”
Gulmarg is the premier ski-resort in the country and the only FIS (Federation of International Scheme) approved ski-championship in India was held her in 2005.
The opening ceremony was followed by a snow rugby match between Delhi and Jammu & Kashmir in which Delhi beat J& K 5-0. Other attractions at the venue included skydiving by wing commander RC Tripathi.
The five-day event will see competition in skiing, ice-skating, snow boarding, ice hockey and biathlon in both men's and women's sections. Ear lier, Ghulam Nabi Azad, the J&K Chief Minister declared the games open.