Indian Girl Power At The Olympics: Here’s Why We Have High Hopes From Top Seed Wrestler Vinesh Phogat
All sports-related movies are about more than just the game. They’re about not giving up even in the face of adversity. And isn’t that what true sportsmanship is all about? Perseverance over winning or losing. In fact, that is the inspirational story of the athlete we are discussing today, Vinesh Phogat. She will be part of the Indian contingent representing our country at the Tokyo Olympics that start next week.
Ranked at number 1 worldwide, Vinesh Phogat is one of the best wrestlers we have. Which of course, shouldn’t come as a surprise considering she belongs to the iconic Phogat family. Vinesh is skilled, resilient and decorated. Her performances in the recent few tournaments have been nothing short of brilliant which makes her a top seed for the Olympics.
To say that Vinesh’s achievements are impressive would be an understatement. In 2020, the Indian government awarded her the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award. If that isn’t enough to blow your mind, in 2016, Vinesh was presented the Arjuna Award. Her stellar performance in this year’s tournaments allowed her to jump 14 points to bag the number 1 ranking in the world.
Vinesh has won 8 medals at the Asian Championships, which include 1 gold, 3 silver and 4 bronze medals. She is the first Indian female wrestler to have won gold at both the Asian and Commonwealth Games. Sadly though, she lost at the 2016 Rio Olympics in the quarterfinals. Vinesh was brutally injured during the match by her opponent Sun Yanan from China. She tore her anterior cruciate ligament. The tissue that connects the knee to the shin bone. It has taken Vinesh five years to get back to the game but she has emerged on the other side stronger than ever.
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This time though, she will be at the Olympic games as the world’s number one female wrestler in the 53kg category. All the odds are in her favour. Just a few days ago, Vinesh tweeted, “The journey to Tokyo has been long, bittersweet and difficult at times. Casting my mind back five years, I wasn’t even sure whether I would be able to get on to the mat again. The injury in Rio was easily one of the lowest moments in my career, and even had me questioning whether I would ever be able to wrestle again.”
She added, “I realised that I cannot fight destiny, so why complain. Everyone has their own journeys and I have mine. I take everything positively now. Maybe I had to go through that phase so that I could emerge mentally stronger. I never thought I could do all this, that I have so much in me to go through such a tough phase and come out stronger.”
A request to media people 🙏 pic.twitter.com/Y3AkvRaYz5
— Vinesh Phogat (@Phogat_Vinesh) July 15, 2021
Her story is a lot like the movie that has been made about her uncle and cousins, Dangal. Speaking of which, on Thursday, Vinesh took to her Twitter to school a few media houses who have been saying that her father is Mahavir Phogat. She wrote that she lost her father, Rajpal Phogat when she was 9-years-old and that Mahavir Phogat is her uncle. Vinesh asked these media houses to get their stories and facts straight.
Vinesh Phogat is an inspiration. Her journey has come full circle and we can’t wait to see her bag that gold medal at the Olympics this year.