Aanchal Thakur becomes first Indian to win an international medal in skiing

Aanchal Thakur, 21, created history by winning the Bronze medal in skiing in Turkey.

By: Express Web Desk | Updated: January 10, 2018 4:14:03 pm

Aanchal Thakur bags bronze medal. Aanchal Thakur won a Bronze Medal in Skiing, the first one for India. (Twitter/Aanchal Thakur)

In a major boost to India before the start of Winter Olympics in South Korea from February, 21-year old Aanchal Thakur created history on Tuesday by becoming the first Indian to win an international medal in skiing. The Manali resident grabbed a Bronze medal in the slalom race category at Alpine Ejder 3200 Cup organised by Skiing’s international governing body, Federation International de Ski (FIS) at the Palandoken Ski Centre, in Erzurum in Turkey.

Thakur, after winning the medal, in a tweet expressed her happiness and described her feat as “unexpected”. “Finally something unexpected happened. My first ever international medal.🙌 Federation International Ski Race (FIS). At the end turkey served me well,” she wrote in a tweet in which she also posted images of her podium finish.

Aanchal’s achievements has been acknowledged by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who said that the entire nation is celebrating with her. “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,” PM Modi wrote on Twitter.

Speaking to Times of India in an interview, Thakur said her hard work has finally paid off. “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 said. Her father, Roshan Thakur, who works as the the secretary general of the Winter Games Federation of India (WGFI), also spoke to the newspaper and described her achivement as a “breakthrough for the sport in India”.

“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. This is a breakthrough for the sport in India and the entire skiing fraternity is proud of her achievement,” her father told TOI.

Roshan further added that the medal might help in getting financial support from the government. “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,” he said.

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