The first Indian to win a medal in an international skiing event is getting set for the winter sport season. There she is hoping for more medals, but there are many hurdles along the way for the youngster.


In January this year, Aanchal Thakur, alpine skier from India won the country’s first medal in the sport. The 22-year-old was in Mumbai for a women’s forum a few months ago where she spoke about taking up the sport.

Going abroad
The Manali resident won a bronze medal in the Alpine Ejder 3200 Cup at the Palandoken Ski Centre in Erzurum in Turkey. Thakur has been practicing her sport in Europe for more than a decade.

“Infrastructure is lacking in India. There are not even the basic facilities needed for international level competition when it comes to the winter sports. We have to go abroad for training and it is very expensive. I train in Europe for three to four months as it is very expensive,” she said.

Winning a medal at the Federation Internationale de Ski (FIS) event earlier in the year was a turning point for the youngster. She said, “The medal became a turning point for me and winter sports in India. I saw pride in my parent’s eyes. My journey was not easy. I was only five when I started skiing. I skied with wooden skis that my brother made for me. We could not afford the original skis which were very expensive for us. We used to climb for hours with those heavy skis on our shoulders just to ski for a minute.”

Thakur went abroad at 11 to train with international coaches. “Difficulties helped me to get stronger and reach where I am today,” she said.

Cost
Skiing is a costly sport and needs a lot of monetary funds. Thakur’s family is currently bearing the expenses of her training. For the main equipment the cost is higher than Rs 5 lakhs for two or three years. Training from international coaches is 200 Euros for a day. Plus there is food and staying which is also involved that cost a lot of money, she said.

Thakur’s father Roshan is a former national ski champion and has inspired her. My dad wanted me to ski. I started at 5, he wanted me to pursue my dream, she said.

Winter sports

Not many people in India know about skiing and Thakur has had to explain to many what she does. “People in India do not know what skiing is. When I say, & I am an Alpine skiier, they say, ice skating. That makes me so sad. I want people to know about it as much as they know about cricket. There is not only summer sports, there is also winter sports, Winter Olympics where Alpine skiing is a major event,” she ended.

The Gems Of India Continue To Shine Bright: Power Girls Making Us Proud At Asian Games

Powerpuff Girls

23 Aug, 2018

She came on the field, she played like a hero and left the stadium with more than a medal. What she wore was a sense of glory, victory and the honour of making her country proud. This is what the winners at the Asian Games have been living.The ongoing games have seen strong and talented women bring home joy and glory. Here’s a look the women from Team India who are winning our hearts.In Pic: Tennis player Ankita Raina (L), Shooter Rahi Sarnobat (C) and Wrestler Vinesh Phogat (R).

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