Anyone attempting to move ahead in the face of uncertainty and adversity will have a lot to learn from the participants at the fifth National Winter Games here.
Tuesday saw action in the much-awaited Alpine skiing events, including slalom, giant slalom in both men's and women's categories and snowboarding in the men category. The event took place on the Kongdori slope, 3050m above sea level. One needs a 'Gondola' cable car to reach the venue, a 1330m vertical climb.
While alpine skiing mainly tests the ability to control the direction and speed of descent on the slopes, Slalom and giant slalom are more "technical", requiring a skier to pass between a series of pairs of poles, or "gates". A course generally has 55-75 gates for men and 40-60 gates for women.
A trial by snow
Aliya Iqbal, the 2002 national champion in the junior category finished third in the women category. Iqbal almost gave up skiing due to financial constraints and is presently pursuing her graduation in physiotherapy at the Punjab University. Aaliya is not sure whether she will take up professional skiing. "There is no point in taking up something which does not last. If I am sponsored by the government and am able to train in places like Japan which have fantabulous slopes, one can think of taking it full time, else, no."
Slalom, men: 1. Dhang Bahadur, 2. Hiralal, 3. Jhamyang Namgyal; Girls: 1. Preeti, 2. Nirmala, 3. Aliya Iqbal; Free style cross country: Men, 15 km: 1. Anig Chock Dorgi, 2. Tashi Loondup, 3. Gupta Bhadur Gurang; Women, 5 km: 1. Bhubaneshwari, 2. Mehjabeen, 3. Masooda