[Watch] Odisha’s Snow Maiden Clears 60 Hurdles At National Ski & Snowboard Championship At Auli

OB Bureau

Bhubaneswar:  Known as the snow maiden of Odisha, Ranjita Behera impressed onlookers with her skills at skiing while making her way to the finish line after crossing about 60 hurdles during the giant slalom event of the National Ski and Snowboard Championship, 2022 on February 7.

Though she missed a medal, her smooth performance—sans any crashes or stumbles—earned her appreciation at the championship, being held at Auli in Uttarakhand from February 7 to 9.

On February 8, she will try her luck at the slalom event. “It is a challenging slope at par with the standards of an international skiing base. I am happy that I was able to finish the race without being disqualified,” she said.

Prior to the event, Ranjita had gone to Gulmarg in Kashmir to polish her skills. She had started full-fledged practice on January 17. “I was going down Mary’s Shoulder at Gulmarg at least 10 times a day. This has improved my performance. Many seasoned skiers couldn’t finish the Auli race without getting disqualified as the slope is very steep. Till November, I was being trained at Manali,” she said.

It was all the more difficult for Ranjita to undertake the challenge as she belongs to Odisha, which doesn’t witness snowfall. “The other participants from the region had seen snowfall since their childhood days. For us, it’s a bit more critical having spent our lives in the plains. The weather changes are also difficult to adapt to. But, exposure to such championships help me learn about my areas of improvement,” she added.

The 26-year-old is a trained mountaineer from Jawahar Institute of Mountaineering & Winter Sports, Jammu and Kashmir. Ranjita developed an interest in adventure sports because of her background in NCC. She was chosen by the Odisha government to take part in the first Biju Patnaik Himalayan expedition to Mt Rudugaira at Uttarakhand in 2016. She was trained at Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports (ABVMAS) at Manali.

She is the first trained snow sportsperson from Odisha. She had also participated in Khelo India Winter Games 2021 at Gulmarg.

Watch the video here:

OB Bureau

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