Aanchal Thakur, the 21-year-old Manali resident created history on Tuesday by winning India’s first-ever international medal in skiing. The Himachal Pradesh girl won the 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. This medal came in the Slalom race category. Delighted with her win, Aanchal said that it was a result of months of training. Meanwhile, her father, Roshan Thakur who is also the secretary-general of the Winter Games Federation of India (WGFI) said that this could be the breakthrough for the sport in India. In case you don’t know who is Aanchal Thakur, here is all you need to know:
1. Since skiing is not a very popular sport in India, it is tough to find the sponsors. Aanchal’s journey has either been financed by her father or FIS. However, her father told TOI that there has been no monetary support from the Centre.
2. Aanchal hails from Burua, a small village in Manali. She learnt the ropes from her father. Later, Heera Lal, a former Olympian, honed her skills.
3. She has previously represented India at the 2012 Winter Youth Olympics that took place in Innsbruck and also took part in the Alpine skiing – Girl’s Slalom and Girl’s Giant Slalom events.
4. Sports minister Rajyavardhan Rathore took to Twitter to congratulate Aanchal: “Congrats Aanchal Thakur for the Slalom Skiing Bronze in the FIS International Skiing Competition in Turkey. India opens account by a first ever medal in skiing. Well done!”
Congrats Aanchal Thakur @alleaanchal for the Slalom Skiing Bronze in the FIS International Skiing Competition in Turkey.
India opens account by a first ever medal in skiing ????
— Rajyavardhan Rathore (@Ra_THORe) January 10, 2018
5. Aanchal’s father hopes to see her daughter and son represent the country at the 2018 Winter Olympics. He hopes that this win would be enough for Aanchal to get financial support from the Centre.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also congratulated Aanchal on Twitter. “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,” he wrote.