Farid’s goal is to become the first Afghan to race the Olympics in cross country mountain biking.
Currently a CAT1 racer, he started mountain biking in his sophomore year at Middlebury College. With only two years of riding experience, he just completed a successful collegiate campaign capped off with the National Collegiate Mountain Bike Championships.
But it hasn’t been an easy journey. Starting without a strong athletic background, he had had to work very hard to get to where he is today. Lacking financial resources, he started and continues to train and race on borrowed equipment. But his love of the sport, and his vision for how cycling can transform young people’s lives in Afghanistan is what motivates him to work hard.
This season, Farid’s goal is to get his professional license upgrade, which will allow him to race for Afghanistan in international races, earning points towards #Tokyo2020.
Deadline: May 14, 2018
Total needed: $5,000
My homeland Afghanistan is a beautiful place but few people know that. Images of conflict and destitution that the media constantly feeds us have overshadowed Afghanistan’s spectacular landscape and enormous mountains. These mountains can be the best playing ground for bikes. My mission is to bring forward that beautiful aspect of Afghanistan through my passion for the bike.
I see in the bike a huge potential for hope, an opportunity for a good fight, one that will put us back on the world stage for something that we can be proud of. The bike is an empowering tool that allows people to conquer new frontiers and experience independence and freedom. For my friends and I, peace is not found on negotiation tables. It is in the mountains where we can take a break from war, even for a brief moment, and recollect our strength to face and solve the challenges that have been plaguing our country for decades.
My goal is not just to race for my country but to bring mountain biking to Afghanistan.
The MiddSTART funding will come to support my journey at its most critical moment: my chance to become a professional cross-country mountain biker.
So far, I have made progress as an athlete thanks to my friend and fellow Middkid Kai Wiggins who spared me one of his bikes. But after three years training and racing, the equipment is old and no longer race-worthy. They are also entry-level, and not fit for racing at a higher level where proper equipment comes to play a huge role.
The MiddSTART funds will go towards buying a mountain and road bike, as well as summer training and racing costs.
In the U.S., there are so many opportunities for young people to grow. In Afghanistan, such opportunities are very scarce.
I consider myself very lucky to be here at Middlebury, having access to incredible opportunities in and out of the classroom. I want to give back by sharing what I have come to love and appreciate, with young people back home.
Please follow my journey on www.mtbafghanistan.com where I keep an active blog, and my social media. If you are around Middlebury, let’s chat over a cup of chai, or go for a bike ride (road or mtb)!
This project is included in these themes: