Aanchal Thakur scripted history on Tuesday (January 9) when she bagged India's first-ever medal in international skiing.
The 21-year-old from Manali calimed a bronze medal in the Alpine Ejder 3200 Cup in Erzurum, Turkey. This is a Federation International Ski Race (FIS).
A proud Aanchal took to the micro-blogging website Twitter to announce the news. She called the achievement "unexpected".
"Finally something unexpected happened. My first ever international medal. Federation International Ski Race (FIS). At the end turkey served me well," she tweeted last night with pictures of her celebrating with the medal.
Finally something unexpected happened. My first ever international medal.? Federation International Ski Race (FIS). At the end turkey served me well ??.— Aanchal Thakur (@alleaanchal) January 9, 2018
PC- @alwyncreed #strangethingshappen #skiteamindia #onehimachal #himalayangirls pic.twitter.com/pjkSddCpi5
"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," Aanchal told "The Times of India" newspaper.
Her father Roshan Thakur said, "This is a breakthrough for the sport in India and the entire skiing fraternity is proud of achievement."
"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 she won a bronze," he added.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed Aanchal's historic achievement. He tweeted, "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."
Roshan sought the help of the government and said he wanted Aanchal to represent India at 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.
"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,"
Congratulatory messages poured in for Aanchal. Indian Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore tweeted "well done".
"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!," Rathore, who won a sliver medal in shooting in 2004 Athens Olympics, wrote.