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Rani Rampal Became The First Hockey Player To Win The World Games Athlete Of The Year Award And We’re So Proud

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You know when India wins an international match or an Indian athlete wins a gold medal at Olympics, we feel so proud. It’s a time when every Indian rejoices and suddenly you’re filled with feelings of belonging and pride. Today, it’s Indian women’s hockey team captain Rani Rampal’s victory that is giving us all the feels. She won the prestigious ‘World Games Athlete of the Year’ award, after 20 days of worldwide polling.

However, this win has so many layers and so many reasons to feel proud. In India, sports are considered to be men’s activity while women are expected to be away from dust and bruises and are only to be found in the kitchen. In fact, while our nation is crazy about cricket, how much attention does women’s cricket garner? Not even remotely close to the male team. But today, a woman athlete has gone ahead and won the top spot in the list of 25 brilliant athletes (male and female) worldwide.

The Padma Shri awardee won with 199,477 votes out of the total 705,610 cast during the poll. The World Games released a statement applauding her for the big win: “With an impressive number of votes, Rani is the clear winner of the Athlete of the Year race, where sports fans all over the world have voted for their favourite during 20 days of polling in January. All in all, overvotes were cast during the poll.”

“I dedicate this award to the entire hockey fraternity, my team and my country. This success has only become possible with the love and support from hockey lovers, fans, my team, coaches, Hockey India, my government, friends from Bollywood, fellow sportspersons and my countrymen who have continuously voted for me,” said Rani Rampal.

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In fact, hockey players all over the globe are proud of her conquest because this is the first time someone from the community has won the esteemed title. “Rani is an inspirational athlete and a role model for many in India. It was amazing to see the support the Indians, even as high up as Mr. Rijiju, the Minister of State, Youth Affairs and Sports, gave to her in this vote together with the Hockey fans all around the world. This is what sport is about: uniting people from different backgrounds and different countries,” said International World Games Association President Jose Perurena.

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