Indian Women Are Killing It At The 2016 Olympics!
When the Indian Olympics contingent left for Rio, they left with the burden of an entire nation’s expectations on their shoulders. The whole country stayed glued to their television screens as they watched their favourite sports stars compete at the world’s most prestigious event. And just when we thought all hope was lost, along came three women who changed things around on their heads. They showed us… in fact, showed the whole watching world… that women are just as good — if not better — as men at everything, including sports.
Sakshi Malik, PV Sindhu and Dipa Karmakar have made the country proud. They have paved the way for every little girl who, till now, was asked to stay away from sports and concentrate on getting married and making a home. Whether we want to accept this or not, it is the truth of our country, right? Well, I have a feeling the Olympics may be a catalyst. Make way for three #GirlBosses who started small but have definitely achieved big things!
Pusarla Venkata Sindhu. Courtesy:
1. PV Sindhu
Today, all eyes will be on this dynamic 20-year-old Andhra girl, who is the first Indian woman to reach the Olympic badminton finals. Currently ranked at World No. 10, she beat London Olympics silver medalist Wang Yihan yesterday to make her dream a reality. Ever since she saw Saina Nehwal win a bronze in 2012, winning the Olympic medal has been her goal. Right from the age of 10, she has been winning laurels for the country and looking at her now, we know there is a long, and successful road ahead of her! Last year, she became the youngest recipient of the prestigious Padma Shri award. It’s no secret where she gets her sporty genes from — her parents are professional volleyball players. But she chose badminton and it looks like the game chose her too. Get home the gold, girl!
2. Sakshi Malik
When we thought that we are not going to get any medals this year, 23-year-old Sakshi Malik proved us wrong by giving India its first medal at the 2016 Olympics. She won the bronze yesterday in the 58 kg wrestling category. A sport largely regarded as one that only men can ace, Malik indeed faced a lot of criticism when she started training as a wrestler. But her parents and coach didn’t pay attention to what society had to say. And to say we are glad they didn’t would be an understatement! At the age of 12, she joined her coach Ishwar Dahiya in a small akhada — and there was no looking back. Her only motto was to not think about defeat. She believed that if players better than her have lost at these games, why should she be scared of loss? Salute to her hard work! An inspiration to many wrestlers, congratulations to the real superwoman of our country! Also, she loves aloo paratha — need any more reasons to adore her?
3. Dipa Karmakar
Even before the games started, we were immensely proud of Dipa Karmakar, the first Indian gymnast to have qualified for the Olympics. She is, no doubt, going to go down in the annals of India’s sporting history and will inspire future generations. A small-town girl from Agartala, she didn’t have access to high-quality equipment to help her realise her dream. What she had was determination, tattered mats on which she would practice for hours, and a coach who was more like a father to her. She was kept isolated on her birthday so that she could concentrate on the sport, joined a vernacular school so that attendance would not be an issue, and sacrificed so much to reach where she is now. She has mastered the Produnova or the ‘Death Vault’, one of the few gymnasts worldwide to have done so. Though she missed the medal by less than a point, she won a billion hearts along the way. What’s more, she selflessly apologised for not winning. Not like she owes an apology to anyone, but this act of humility has firmly put her on our list of favourite humans ever. Ranked World No. 4, Karmakar makes gymnastics look pretty darn cool!