With a focus on sports like Cricket, Hockey, and Boxing, figure-skating is a relatively unknown sport in Pakistan. Now a twelve-year-old UAE-Based Pakistani girl, Mallak Faisal Zafar, becomes the first not only to single-handedly introduce the country to the sport but also win the first position in the Basic Novice Girls II category at the 24th International Eiscup Innsbruck 2019 in Austria.
With over 200 participants from Austria, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, and a number of other countries competed at this popular Interclub Singles Competition for Seniors, Juniors, Advanced Novice, Intermediate Novice, Basic Novice, Cubs and Chicks, Mallak was able to bring the pride home and has earned the rightful title of “Pakistan’s Ice Princess”.
“It was a really big competition for me. I am really happy that I won gold. I worked so hard, practiced for months and did my best,” Mallak Faisal Zafar told a UAE based Newspaper.
Having grown up in Dubai, Mallak started practicing her art at the tender age of five in the ice rinks of Dubai. Having spent most of her life in UAE, Mallak still has a special bond with her country and visited Pakistan to participate in a skating contest at the resort of Naltar in Gilgit-Baltistan.
“Pakistan is so beautiful. I would love to go back again to make figure skating and winter sports bigger and popular there, especially among girls,” Mallak said.
With Pakistan’s lack of acknowledgment of the sport until recent, Mallak has had to pursue her passion on her own and started training with the support of her parents.
“The response from Pakistan on Mallak’s recent win was fabulous. Our relatives, athletes and people on social media, everyone is praising her performance. I think it will change the way people look at winter sports in Pakistan,” said Faisal Zafar.
Mallak with her parents in Naltar, Pakistan.
Having Russian figure skating star Evgenia Medvedeva as her idol, Mallak began training with a professional trainer, Luda Kalenuk with the aim to secure World Championship in the Olympics.
“It is her passion, her dream to become a professional figure skater. We are so proud of our little girl and would support and facilitate her to achieve her goals,” Nesrein Sadawi.
Having won medals in UAE, Austria, Spain, and Andorra, Mallak aims to represent Pakistan in the Winter Olympics. But with no government support to back her up, Mallak owes it to her parents who have tirelessly supported her financially and with their time and efforts. Her mother, Nesrein, who herself has an immense liking for the sports, takes care of her daughter’s routines.
“It is true that this sport requires a lot of facilities. It is not just figure skating, you have to do ballet, gymnastics and other fitness exercises,” says Nesrein.
“The cost of making of a young figure skater is high in terms of both time and money but the results are just marvelous! To see her follow her dream, perform and win is priceless” Nesrein said.
Watch Mallaks performance at the Austrian event on her channel.
My dream is to represent Pakistan in Winter Olympics and other international competitions in the future,” Mallak told. “Raising the flag of Pakistan in figure skating for the first time to make my country proud is my wish.”