ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: “Pakistanis are the most hospitable, welcoming and kind people I’ve met in my life”.
This was expressed by the world famous Ukrainian Skier Tetyana Tikun who rose like a star on the horizon of skiing in Pakistan.
Tetyana Tikun wrote a new chapter of history of Pakistani skiing by winning giant slalom and Slalom (in FIS Category) in Chief of the Air Staff International Karakoram Alpine Ski Cup held at Naltar Ski Resort in Pakistan.
In an exclusive interview through correspondence with Dispatch News Desk (DND) News Agency, she sent a message to the world to come and see the most spectacular country Pakistan on earth by setting aside stereotypes presented by media.
“To everyone who loves to travel, but still is full of stereotypes presented by the media these days, I highly recommend to always trust your feelings and experiences only. There’s so much of the world that you still have to see and feel. Pakistan is one of those countries that you fall in love at first sight,”, expressed Tetyana Tikun.
She said that most of her personal love towards Pakistan is (was) formed through her interaction with local people because she believed that in every country local people have (had) always been something making most of her memories and impressions about the country.
Pakistanis are the most hospitable, welcoming and kind people I’ve met in my life. They’re not spoiled with visitors, so they make sure you enjoy every minute of your stay. Any request we had, any questions we asked they were always there for us with a warming smile on their faces. So is there anything that left me disappointed about my Pakistan’s trip? Yes, indeed, it lasted only 8 days. But I’d love to come back someday!
Tetyana Tikun shares her birthday with Pakistan as she was born on August 14, 1994 while Pakistan came into being on August 14, 1947. She appreciated Pakistan Ski Federation and Pakistan Air Force (PAF) for providing an excellent hospitality and opportunity for attending international standard Skiing Competition.
Commenting upon her visit to Pakistan, Tetyana Tikun said that she visited Pakistan first time in 2017 and it was her first ever tour to any South Asian country.
“I was blown away by the beauty of pure nature and heartwarming hospitality of Pakistani people,” said Tikun.
Informing about her first visit, she said that Ukrainian Skiing team was invited by Pakistan to attend 1st ever Karakoram Cup in 2017 in Malam Jabba.
When asked what change she felt in Pakistan when she landed second time to Pakistan, she said that when she landed at the New Islamabad International Airport, it was clear to see that in last two years a real change took place in infrastructure.
Explaining her experience about competition, she said that throughout the all competitions there were no technical difficulties with the organization, timing, snow conditions, every person involved was doing his/her exact job flawlessly, which of course made the whole competing process for every athlete so smooth and enjoyable.
Tetyana Tikun added as:
In four races (2 giant-slaloms and 2 slaloms) we (Ukrainian Team) performed in the best way we could taking overall six Gold Medals, seven Silver Medals and three Bronze Medals, which means in every race each one of us has secured their spot on the podium one way or another.
But unlike any other competitions I’ve been a part of, such as World Championships for example, these races were different. There was zero stress, worrying about results, rather enjoying every second of your ride down the course, being in one of the most beautiful and underrated places on earth, which makes this experience so wonderful and unique. After our competitions were finished it was time for a big event – prize giving ceremony at Serena Hotel in Islamabad. So again, we hit the road, this time by car. It was a long and challenging trip, but as I’ve learned from previous traveling experience that’s the best way to actually see the country.
The amount of beauty Pakistan delivers only driving the Silk Route is hilarious. It’s almost not legal to have this much of breathtaking views. We drove all the way along the famous Indus river, sometimes we even could catch a glance on some of the 8-thouthenders peaks, as well as real modest life of the people, who happen to live in small villages. It was a long lasting, but one of the most amazing journeys of my life.
To everyone who loves to travel, but still is full of stereotypes presented by the media these days I highly recommend to always trust your feelings and experiences only. There’s so much of the world that you still have to see and feel. Pakistan is one of those countries that you fall in love at first sight.