Last two weeks were full of sports events. There were so many record broken, new records set and what not. I cheered for my country and many other players across the world. Olympics are not just for winning but for a true spirit of sportsmanship as well.
img source – getty images
I am little bit disappointed as we were unable to match our London Olympics medal tally. Shooting was the sports where we did not win a single medal this time but nevertheless our sports heroes put on tremendous efforts.
The fact that Indian Women showed the courage, the fighting spirit, the fearless and dominating attitude, and the guts was beyond compare. Sakshi Malik and PV Sindhu are the heroines of this Rio Olympics for India. Being a woman especially an Indian woman, I feel so proud that girls of my country are making a mark on the world map.
You Go Girls!!!
“Abhi nahin to kabhi nahin (it is now or never)!”
Now I present our 12th Olympian – wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt!! Do read my first post on Olympic Heroes of India.
Yogeshwar won bronze medal at London Olympics in Men’s 60kg freestyle category wrestling. He is only the third Indian wrestler after Khashaba Dadasaheb Jadhav and Sushil Kumar to win an Olympic medal. Jadhav had won Bronze medal in 1952 Helsinki. Sushil Kumar had won bronze in 2008 Beijing Games and silver in 2012 London Games.
As It Happened
August 11, 2012 London
Yogeshwar Dutt defeated Masoud Esmaeilpoorjouybari of Iran 3-1 in the second repechage round to book a place in the Bronze medal bout. In the Bronze medal match, Yogeshwar put up a spirited performance despite losing the first period 1-0. Yogeshwar, who was struggling to barely open his right eye, came back strongly in the second period winning it 1-0. Realizing that Bronze medal was almost in reach, there was no stopping for Yogeshwar in the third and the final period that he won 6-0. Dutt showed one of his best performances against North Korean to win the Bronze medal at the ExCel Arena, which was packed with Indian supporters. What a temperament and dedication to win this match!
Life of The Champion
Born in Haryana, Dutt started wrestling at the young age of 8 years. Balraj Pehlwan was his source of inspiration. Sushil kumar multiple Olympics medal winner is close friend of Yogeshwar Dutt. They are friends since childhood.
At Beijing Olympics in 2008, despite being so close to the medal Dutt could not win a medal. That was disappointing and frustrating. He did go through a lot of struggle. He spent time in South Africa nursing a critical ligament injury. Then he had a back injury. People started writing him off. This ironed will man kept going and created a history at the London Olympics winning a medal for India!
His Rio Olympics match is on 21 August 2016.
Thus concludes my series on our individual Olympic champions till date.
“Like every other athlete, I always dreamt of playing at the Olympics, and it feels really good to see that dream materialize.”
Not many people know that Mary is a five-time world champion. Everybody started noticing her after the London Olympics. When Priyanka Chopra portrayed her in a title role, Mary has become a household name. So here is our 11th Olympian – Mary Kom!
As It Happened
Wednesday, August 8, 2012, London
Mary Kom created history by becoming the country’s first woman boxer to win a medal at the Olympics. She finished with a Bronze in the 51 kg event at the London Games. Mary Kom lost to local favorite Nicola Adams by 6-11. However, she stood third in the competition and garnered an Olympic Bronze medal.It was first time that women boxing was included in Olympics sports.
Life of The Champion
Mary has keen interest in athletics since childhood. She got interested in boxing and took up the sport at the age of 15. She was inspired by Dingko Singh, an Indian boxer who won the gold medal in the 1998 Asian games. Boxing is her passion. It is the fuel that keeps her driven at all time.
The early days of her childhood were an extreme struggle with poverty. She had to help her parents in the fields, take care of her siblings, take care of the house and attend school. Despite being 5 time world champion, she was relatively unknown. It was Olympic medal that changed everything.
“Nothing bigger than standing on the Olympic podium… It still seems like a dream, it is unbelievable.”
I am back with our 9th individual Olympic champion. Do read my first post on Olympic Heroes of India.
well… over the years Saina has proved her metal and she has consistently and remarkably done wonders in Badminton. Watching her play especially against Chinese players is always a treat for me.
As It Happened
Saturday August 4, 2012, London
Saina won the women’s singles Bronze medal badminton match against China’s Wang Xin at the 2012 Olympics, Saturday, August 4, 2012, in London. Wang conceded the Bronze to Saina retiring hurt after she won the first game 21-18 and up in the second 1-0.
Life Of The Champion
Saina was associated with badminton since birth as both of her parents are Badminton players and champions. Born in Hisar, Haryana Saina moved to many places before shifting to Hyderabad. Now her base is Bangalore city.
Saina started with no sponsorship. There was the huge cost for kit, shoes, rackets and other equipment. She had to travel a long distance for training. There was a constant fear of failure and the lack of sponsorship did not help either. Initially she lost way too many matches. All this hardship payed of and she rose to the top of her game.
With great coaches and mentors as Pullela Gopichand and Vijay Kumar, she managed to break the Chinese dominance. With never say die-attitude, grueling hard work, She became the first ever Indian to win an Olympic medal in Badminton sport. She has won many Super series Badminton titles as well. She has been awarded with Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna – the highest sports award of our country.
Truly the queen of Indian Badminton!
Her first match in Rio Olympics is on 11th of August 2016.
I am back with the third Olympic Individual Winner of our country. Do read my earlier post on Olympic Heroes of India.
Karnam Malleswari became the first ever Indian Woman to win an Olympic medal for the country. She won a Bronze medal in women’s weightlifting 69 kilograms category at Sydney Olympics. It was the only medal won by India in Sydney Olympics.
As It happened
September 19, 2000, Sydney, Australia
(Photo by Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images)
During practice Malleswari used to lift more weight than the weight she lifted in Bronze medal match. At Sydney, Malleswari started with lifting 105 kilograms in the snatch event. Later she went for 107.5 Kg. In the final attempt she lifted 110 Kg and thus became the first ever woman Bronze medal winner of India.
Life Of The Champion
Karnam Malleswari was born in a small village of Andhra Pradesh. She began weightlifting at young age. During her career as a weightlifter she has been a national champion for the record 9 times. It is a huge achievement for any athlete. Interestingly her sister Krishna Kumari was also a national level weightlifter.
19 Sep 2000: (L to R) Erzsebet Markus of Hungary (Silver), Weining Lin of China (Gold) and Karnam Malleswari of India (Bronze) on the podium after the Womens 69kg Weightlifting at the Convention Centre in Darling Harbour on Day Four of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. Mandatory Credit: Scott, Barbour/ALLSPORT
Malleswari owes her success to her family. They supported and encouraged throughout her career. Malleswari’s mother Shyamala has been a great anchor who took care of her diet. As diet plays a vital role for an athlete especially in weightlifting.
Malleswari’s win at Sydney boosted great confidence and enthusiasm among young Indian women.