Professional skier Suhail Azzam: The athlete putting Jordan on the global winter sports map

Lifestyle

Published: 2018-01-22 22:00

Last Updated: 2018-01-23 09:52


Suhail is one of the rare professional skiers to come out of Jordan. (Zimbio.com)
Suhail is one of the rare professional skiers to come out of Jordan. (Zimbio.com)
Roya News Source

Winter sports aren’t practiced in Jordan, despite the Kingdom getting its fair share of snow during the coldest season of the year.

However, there’s one man whose love for skiing has led him to become one of the rare professional skiers from Jordan.

We were thrilled to chat with Suhail Azzam, who is now preparing to compete in the upcoming Alpine Skiing World Cup Final in Åre, Sweden.


Skier Suhail

Currently based in Dubai, 34-year-old Suhail is a Brand Manager by trade and a skier by passion.

He is married with two children, a boy, Laith, and a girl, Sophia, and revealed that he is already teaching his son the art of skiing.

Suhail’s passion for the winter sport sprung to life during a school trip to Italy at the tender age of eight. Since then, the sportsman never missed the chance to ski whenever the opportunity presented itself.


Balancing act

Having a fulltime job and a family to take care of is time-consuming as it is; where does Suhail find the time to ski?

The athlete told us that he tries to find the right work-life-skiing balance by “squeezing it all in the day’s 24 hours.”

“I return home from work to spend time with my kids, then I head off to Ski Dubai for four hours of training, before returning back home for dinner with my wife,” Suhail explained.

Even when Suhail is competing overseas, he takes his work away with him.

In other words: he’s Superman.


Aspirations & Achievements

In 2017, Suhail took the first serious steps towards making his dream to compete in the Winter Olympics come true.

“I would love to compete in the games if my legs are still working four years from now,” Suhail jokingly said.

His professional training kicked off last August.

Having put in many training hours at Ski Dubai that month, the sportsman told us that he received more advanced training at a skiing camp in Hintertux, Austria in the month that followed.

Suhail went on to explain that he has seven races under his belt (or skis), having competed in China (Early Dec 2017), Turkey (Mid Dec 2017) and Iran (Early Jan 2018). He also raced, as a guest, at the 8th Asian Winter Games in Japan (Feb 2017).

Despite missing out on qualifying for this year’s Olympics by a few points - as requested by the International Ski Federation - Suhail assured us that that has only made him more determined to enter the next round in 2022, which will be taking place in Beijing, China.


Role model

Suhail is eager to inspire “Jordanian, Palestinian and Arab youngsters to get up and notice the world of winter sports.”

He said that he would love to see more Jordanians represent their country in this type of sport, and “not necessarily as skiers.”

Becoming a pro did not get to Suhail’s head. His enthusiasm for the sport matches that of his humbleness.

“If I can do it, you can do it.”