Alpine skier Mohammad Arif Khan, who will be competing in the slalom and giant slalom events, carried the Indian flag at the Parade of Nations during the opening ceremony of Beijing Winter Olympics 2022.
The opening ceremony was held at the iconic Bird's Nest Stadium, which also hosted the opening ceremony of the Summer Games in 2008.
India was the 23rd country in the Parade of Nations and the 31-year-old skier, sporting a red jacket, was carrying the Indian flag, accompanied by a couple of support staff. This year, for the first time in Winter Olympics history, each nation had two flag bearers -- one man and one woman.
Beijing Olympics gold medallist Abhinav Bindra lauded the skier from Jammu and Kashmir, saying the only athlete representing India at Beijing 2022.
"From Kashmir to the Olympics! Really proud to see #ArifKhan, the only athlete representing India at #Beijing2022 carry the tricolor high!" he said.
Arif Khan, who hails from Jammu and Kashmir, is the first-ever Indian athlete to directly qualify for two different events at a single edition of the Winter Games.
He will be competing in the giant slalom event on February 13 and the slalom on February 16. Arif Khan qualified for Beijing Winter games in slalom in Dubai in November and for giant slalom with a 14th-placed finish in Montenegro in December.