“It started just as a hobby,” Khairil nonchalantly remarked. At the tender age of five, Khairil Ridhwan’s father introduced him to what would be the love of his life 12 years on – ice skating. The R.E.A.L student’s journey began at Sunway Pyramid’s ice rink where he developed his skills and talent for the sport despite facing physical and health issues. Khairil’s newfound passion also helped him through some tough times as he was somewhat of an outcast during childhood.
Ice skating was his escape and outlet; an opportunity to stamp his mark as an individual and prove doubters wrong. After his first experience of stepping onto an ice rink 12 years ago, Khairil achieved his most significant milestone to date when he recently clinched gold at the 29th SEA Games held here in Kuala Lumpur by winning the men’s 3,000m relay category for short track speed skating. Significantly, his medal was Malaysia’s 145th and final gold medal; making the victory even sweeter and more memorable.
Khairil joined his first short track speed skating competition in 2014. It took him only six months to adapt to speed skating boots and to build his prowess in the sport. During the same year, he triumphantly bagged three gold medals at the Singapore National Speed Skating Competition. This achievement convinced him to go professional and he has not looked back since. For three years now, Khairil has participated in and won many international competitions to add to his experience and preparation, which led him to his biggest success this year.
Despite all his exposure through speed skating, only a few know the real Khairil Ridhwan; an all-rounder student from R.E.A.L Schools, Cheras Campus who is currently finishing his final year of high school and will be sitting for his SPM or Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia exams this November. As a semi-Science stream student, he constantly faces the challenge of balancing studies and sports. But with discipline, desire and determination, he manages to excel in most of his endeavours.
Since he was in Form 1, teachers and fellow students have already seen Khairil as a budding leader. He was appointed a commander of his Police Cadet squad for Sports Day for three years in a row. He then continued to sharpen his leadership skills as a prefect and was eventually selected to become the school’s Assistant Head Prefect this year.
On top of that, Khairil is an active participant in his school’s performing arts programme and has been chosen to be part of the main cast of Cheras Campus’ musical productions for four consecutive years now. Apart from sports, his dedication and interest in acting and dancing have driven him to pursue and actively participate in school plays every year.
Being in the limelight through various activities has developed Khairil’s personality into that of someone who accepts any challenges that come his way. This mindset has made him set a personal goal of qualifying for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. With a strong spirit, heart and mind; Khairil has all the attributes to realize his lifelong dreams and ambitions. With that, we wish him all the very best for the future and congratulations on making us all proud!