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Narendra Modi praises Aanchal Thakur, turns out her father taught him paragliding

SENIOR ANALYST
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551   //    11 Jan 2018, 13:50 IST

All those years ago, Modi met Aanchal's father
All those years ago, Modi met Aanchal's father (Image courtesy: Indian Express)

What's the story?

Call it coincidence or destiny, stories like these aren't heard of very often. India was beaming with pride after young skiing sensation Aanchal Thakur won the nation's first ever medal in the sport of skiing, grabbing a bronze medal at the prestigious Alpine Ejder 3200 Cup.

The win was relatively unexpected but for young Aanchal, all her hard work and training had finally borne fruit.

Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi tweeted out his delight towards India's bronze medal and while this may have been just a regular tweet, the stars have all aligned for Aaanchal's father Roshan Lal Thakur. As it turns out, the Indian PM not only mentioned her father just a few months ago but also credits him as being the one who taught him paragliding!

In case you didn't know...

During his campaigning in Himachal, Modi spoke candidly about his experience while paragliding for the first time. He had said that it was a Thakur who helped him try it out. As Thakur himself reveals, Modi visited his paragliding institute in 1997 and fell in love with the adventure sport.

The heart of the matter

Thakur's facility at Solang was the scene where a relatively younger Modi first tried his hand at paragliding as the BJP's leader in the region. Not even the slushy ground that day could dampen the spirits of the PM and his tweet goes a long way in establishing his love for all things winter sports.

As reported in the Indian Express, Thakur revealed, “A local leader brought Modiji to show him the paragliding facility. The ground was slushy because it had been raining. He wanted to give it a try but I said he couldn’t because you need a firm ground for the run-up. But he was adamant. He tried it and he was hooked.”

Thakur also highlighted that following his paragliding experience, Modi would regularly visit the facility and the two stayed in touch till much later on.

What's next?

The entire experience is humbling for young Aanchal but there is no doubt that she has her eyes firmly set on the Winter Olympics and making India proud yet again.

Author's take

Albeit via coincidence, PM Modi's love for winter sports could propel the country towards establishing better infrastructure in the field and create new heroes.

SENIOR ANALYST
Just a regular guy with a serious passion for sports.
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