Indians woke up on the morning of 18th August, 2016 to the exhilarating news that India had finally won a medal at the Rio Olympics 2016, thus, ending the dry spell. The person responsible for protecting the pride of 1.2 billion people is Sakshi Malik, the first Indian female wrestler ever to win a medal in the prestigious Olympics. She won a bronze medal in women’s wrestling 58 kg, defeating the reigning Asian champion Aisuluu Tynybekova of Kyrgyzstan 8-5,despite trailing 0–5 at one stage. She became the fourth Indian female athlete to win an Olympic medal.
Born to a bus conductor and a government servant from Haryana, this powerhouse started training at the age of 12 under coach Ishwar Dahiya in the district of Rohtak. Her dream of travelling in a plane is what fuelled her desire to wrestle, and that is what took her to the world’s foremost sports competition. But it was not a piece of cake. Her mother was initially hesitant, but later came to fully support her daughter. Also, she had to face the opposition and hostility of the orthodox locals who believed wrestling to be a sport “not for girls”. Defying these gender constraints, Sakshi powered through all the negativity and criticism and won a bronze medal at the Junior World Championships, 2010. This was just the beginning of her success as a professional wrestler. She went on to participate in the Commonwealth Games, the Asian Wrestling Championships, among others, winning hearts and medals while also giving tough competition to some of the sport’s biggest names.
Hailing from a traditionally backward state, infamous for its gender bias, being able to pursue the sport of her choice was quite a victory in itself for Sakshi. Against all odds, she followed her passion and after proving her mettle again and again, she won the first Olympic medal for India this year, the chances of which seemed bleak.
This hardworking, dedicated, strong and honest woman trained for a decade and is now the THIRD best in the whole WORLD in her category.
Sakshi became the hope of our nation, she became our pride and above all, she destroyed the warped notion of some people, that wrestling is a man’s sport. Her win is a win for India, for womankind and for all those little girls who, now, will have the courage to follow their heart.
YOU GO GIRL!
About The Author
A kaleidoscopic swirl of the luminous colours of happiness, adventure, humour, love, friendship and art is basically who I am, along with quite a strong wave of irony. Also, I am having an affair with my tv and a multitide of novels.