“My skiing background had always been recreational until the opportunity to race for Malaysia was floated, which was originally intended as a joke. I was inspired by the mantra of ‘Malaysia Boleh’, and poured my efforts into ski racing whilst out in Maine in 2014-15,” Othman narrates.
After an extensive dry-land training programme, Othman opened his season with a race at Copper Mountain last December. “In skiing, wearing the Harimau Salji name also means taking on new challenges in the arena of winter sport, and working to push forward the bar of Malaysian sporting history,” he says, adding that although the experience was tiring and nerve-wracking, it was no doubt a great honour.
He informs that his greatest achievement thus far is qualifying for the World Championships and the Asian Winter Games despite he is only one year into his ski-racing career. “If I qualify for the Winter Olympics, that will be ideal, but as of now, I’m happy with our progress.”
When he is not busy training, he is either working or studying at the University of Colorado Boulder. And this season, he will be joining other Malaysian athletes to represent Malaysia in both the FIS Alpine World Championships in St. Moritz and the Asian Winter Games in Sapporo.