Aanchal Thakur, who hails from Burua village in Manali, has won India its first international Skiing medal. The 21-year-old clinched bronze in the coveted Alpine Ejder 3200 Cup organized by the Federation Internationale de Ski (FIS), skiing’s international governing body, at the Palandoken Ski Centre in Erzurum in Turkey. She won the medal in the slalom race category.
Despite no support from the government and with no culture and no infrastructure this feat by Aanchal receives special acknowledgement. Aanchal is ecstatic over her achievement and believes that the hard-work has finally been paid off. She told Times of India:
“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.”
Well done @alleaanchal for winning an international medal in skiing! The entire nation is ecstatic on your historic accomplishment at the FIS International Skiing Competition in Turkey. Wishing you the very best for your future endeavours.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 10, 2018
Aanchal’s feat even got her reckoning and praises from the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi as he tweeted:
“Well done @alleaanchal for winning an international medal in skiing! The entire nation is ecstatic on your historic accomplishment at the FIS International Skiing Competition in Turkey. Wishing you the very best for your future endeavours.”
Aanchal’s father, Roshan Thakur who is also the general secretary of Winter Games Federation of India (WGFI) was elated after her daughter’s achievement and said:
“This is a breakthrough for the sport in India and the entire skiing fraternity is proud of her achievement, Aanchal called me on WhatsApp and showed me the medal. I thought it was some kind of a souvenir given at the end of every FIS event! But she told me that shw won a bronze,”
Aanchal’s entire journey has either been funded by her father or occasionally by the FIS. Aanchal’s father hopes this medal helps their cause in the future and gets them financial help from the center.
“I hope Aanchal’s medal helps our cause (in getting financial support from the Centre). I want to see my daughter and son represent the country in the 2018 Winter Olympics. The Centre only funds travel and logistics from one Olympic to another. Rest of the time, you have to fend for yourself.”