Thanks to Manali resident Aanchal Thakur, India has received its first-ever international medal in skiing. This 21-year-old girl clinched bronze in the coveted Alpine Ejder 3200 Cup organised by the Federation Internationale de Ski (FIS) — skiing’s international governing body — at the Palandoken Ski Centre in Erzurum in Turkey. She won the bronze medal in the slalom race category.

Prepping up

“Months of training have finally borne fruit. I started well and managed to take a good lead, which helped later in getting the third-place finish”, she told the TOI. She hails from Burua which is a small village in Manali.

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What makes her feat special is the fact that she won the Cup despite their being no culture or even infrastructure for Winter Sports in India. Moreover, those participating in winter sports in India get negligible support from the Union sports ministry.

“This is a breakthrough for the sport in India and the entire skiing fraternity is proud of her achievement”, her father Roshan Thakur said. He is also the secretary-general of the Winter Games Federation of India. He hopes that her medal would help his cause of getting financial support from the centre, he told the TOI.

Aanchal’s father had introduced her to skiing. Former Olympian Heera Lal helped hone her skills. He also expressed his desire of seeing her represent the country in 2018 Winter Olympics. South Korea is all set to host the 2018 Winter Olympics in February.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi acknowledged her victory and congratulated her on Twitter. He said that the entire nation is ecstatic about her accomplishment.

It is great to see young Indian girls making their family and country proud through their stellar talent and determination. More power to you!

Pic Credit:The Financial Express

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