Timely actions and gangplanks can always say the day and many milestones. India’s alpine skier Himanshu Thakur will have a final shot at the Winter Olympics qualification; thanks to the timely intervention by the External Affairs Ministry which facilitated his Iranian visa in the 11th hour.
The alpine skier, who was not allowed to board the flight from Frankfurt to Tehran yesterday, got the required visa clearance from the Iranian Embassy in New Delhi. He missed out on the opening day of the competition at Darbandsar Ski Resort in Iran but has not missed his chance to make it to the Winter Olympics tomorrow and day after. The 24-year-old, who finished 72nd in the giant slalom at the Sochi Winter Olympics four years ago, needs a score of 140 points or below in five races to qualify for the Winter Games in Pyeongchang from February 9 to 29.
Thakur has the required score in four races but needs to record 140 or less in one more race before the deadline of January 21st. He is the brother of Aanchal Thakur, who recently won India’s first international medal in skiing. Aanchal, however, is already out of the Olympic race. Their father, Roshan Thakur thanked External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Himachal Pradesh Sports Minister Govind Singh Thakur and BJP MP from Himachal Anurag Thakur, for helping his son get the visa at such a short notice. Roshan, who is also the secretary at the Winter Games Federation of India told the press, “He missed out on competition today but he has two more days. He has been travelling constantly over the past one week from one competition to another. Hopefully, he is not exhausted.’
This year’s Winter Olympics, better known as PyeongChang 2018’s vision for the 2018 Games is to offer the Olympic Movement and the world of winter sports New Horizons – a legacy of new growth and new potential never seen before. Its Winter Games plan is one of the most compact in Olympic history, it offers a unique stage on which the world’s best athletes can achieve superior performances. With PyeongChang’s strategic position in Asia and its access to a young and fast-growing youth market, the 2018 Olympic Winter Games will no doubt expose new generations of potential athletes to the power of winter sport.
Hope never shall die and so the hope on Himanshu to be the Indian Winter Olympic is shining brightly ahead.