Manali girl Aanchal Thakur successfully marked her name in the history books by winning the country's maiden international medal in skiing. This comes as a big massive step, especially for a sport that usually begs for attention.
The 21-year-old clinched the bronze medal in the slalom race category in the Alpine Ejder 3200 Cup organised by the Federation Internationale de Ski in Turkey.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi couldn’t hold back from congratulating the 21-year-old North Indian resident on pocketing India's first-ever international medal in the sport.
PM Modi praised her via Twitter: "Well done @alleaanchal for winning an international medal in skiing. The whole nation is ecstatic on your historic win at the FIS International Skiing Competition in Turkey. Wishing you the very best for your future endeavours.”
Aanchal was overwhelmed by the reaction as she described it as unreal that the Prime Minister would tweet for her. She further added: “I hope we are finally being treated at par with athletes of other popular sports. Right now, there has been no support from the government.”
Aanchal's proud father Roshan Thakur, also the General Secretary of Winter Games Federation of India, was overjoyed with the feat achieved by his daughter. He noted: "This is a breakthrough achievement for this sport in the country and the entire skiing fraternity is proud of this."
Rajyavardhan Rathore, the Sports Minister, took to Twitter to congratulate inspiring Aanchal: "Congratulations Aanchal for the Slalom Skiing Bronze in the FIS International Skiing Competition in Turkey. India, thus, opens the account by a first-ever medal in skiing. Well done!"