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Post Screening Panelist, Champions of the Golden Valley

Sayed Alishah Farhang


Protagonist, Champions of the Golden Valley

Alishah Farhang was born in the Hindu Kush mountains above Bamyan, Afghanistan. He soon fell in love with skiing, and it became his dream to be the first person to represent Afghanistan as an alpine ski racer in the Olympics. He went to Switzerland several times for professional training, but fell just short of qualifying. Undeterred, he returned to his hometown of Bamyan to further develop the sport of skiing there. At the Bamyan Ski Club, he worked to develop a women’s skiing program, a first for the country. He became the race director of The Afghan Ski Challenge, which brought athletes and media from around the country in a celebration of peace and sport. In August 2021, amid the collapse of Afghanistan, Alishah was forced to leave this life behind, fleeing the country with his wife and two children. He now lives in eastern Germany with his family, where they are studying and trying to rebuild. He still dreams of being a mountain guide and professional ski racer, as a refugee representing Afghanistan. His story is explored in the feature documentary Champions of the Golden Valley.