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.
Finally something unexpected happened. My first ever international medal.🙌 Federation International Ski Race (FIS). At the end turkey served me well 😇😇.
PC- @alwyncreed #strangethingshappen #skiteamindia #onehimachal #himalayangirls pic.twitter.com/pjkSddCpi5
— Aanchal Thakur (@alleaanchal) 9 January 2018
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.
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) 10 January 2018
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) 10 January 2018
Congratulations Aanchal Thakur @alleaanchal for scripting history by winning the first ever medal for India in the FIS International Skiing Competition in Turkey. We are so proud of you! pic.twitter.com/ammdJ71rtp
Congratulations to Aanchal Thakur @alleaanchal on becoming the first Indian to win an international medal in skiing after clinching Bronze at the prestigious Alpine Ejder 3200 Cup in Turkey. pic.twitter.com/lfKy4xEIWi
Heartiest Congratulations to Aanchal Thakur @alleaanchal on winning the first-ever medal for India in a Skiing competition at the FIS International Skiing Competition in Turkey.
India is proud of your historic accomplishment.
My best wishes for all your future endeavours. pic.twitter.com/zr54VmKJS5
— Ashok Gehlot (@ashokgehlot51) 10 January 2018
One after other our women athletes are bringing pride to nation with their undying spirit & determination. Congratulations to Aanchal Thakur for creating history by winning India’s 1st ever International medal in skiing. https://t.co/oZItwtAI1f
— Dr. Mahesh Sharma (@dr_maheshsharma) 10 January 2018
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.