We have finally started celebrating non-cricket sports such as badminton, tennis, hockey, and kabaddi, but there’s a long way to go for the sports personalities in our country. That is one of the reasons we need to talk about the 21-year-old girl from Himachal Pradesh who has won India’s first medal in international skiing.
Aanchal Thakur has brought home a bronze medal at the Alpine Ejder 3200 Cup, in the slalom race category. The prestigious event was organised by the International Ski Federation (FIS), the international governing body for skiing, at the Palandoken Ski Centre in Erzurum in Turkey.
"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," the young skier told a national daily, who has been coached by former Olympian Heera Lal!
Aanchal comes from Burua, a village in Manali and she has learned the ropes her father, Roshan Thakur, the secretary-general of the Winter Games Federation of India (WGFI). Previously, she has competed in the 2012 Winter Youth Olympic in Austria and 2017 Asian Winter Games in Japan.
The young girl embarked on this journey with no financial aid from the Centre and shone on an international level purely because of her grit and determination. Now isn’t she the kind of role model that we need for girls all across India, in small towns and big cities?
Skiing as a competitive sport may be something new to India. It is super expensive, especially if you count the equipment as well as the foreign trips to participate in events – yep, not as simple as going to Shimla for a try. It is highly commendable that her father backed her financially and even FIS funded trips. She has taken the first step, now it’s on all of us.
She is planning to represent India in the 2018 Winter Olympics and we hope that she gets more support from the Indian government. The signs sure look good, for the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has acknowledged her win 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.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 10, 2018
Even Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore also took to the social media network to congratulate Aanchal.
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 👍
Well done! @jairamthakurbjp pic.twitter.com/vhTReuJwyl
— Rajyavardhan Rathore (@Ra_THORe) January 10, 2018
We send our wishes to Aanchal on this historic win and hope that she inspires youngsters in India to take up different sports. Make India proud, you!