August has been a great month for Indian sports. The women representing the country at Rio Olympics have proved to the world that women carry the courage to overshadow the men in sports. Sports stalwarts Dipa Kamarkar, P.V Sindhu and Sakshi Malik have delivered stellar performances leaving the Indian spectators spellbound with a major attack of goose bumps. Social Media is replete with proud messages dedicated to these remarkable women appreciating their physical and mental strengths. Read on to know more about women who made India proud in Olympics.
18th August, 2016 will remain etched in the hearts of millions forever. It was on this day Haryana’s Sakshi Malik became the first Indian woman wrestler to win an Olympic medal. Rio Olympics 2016 will be remembered for the unbridled enthusiasm that she showcased. Her triumph is significant and is expected to elevate the status of many women in Haryana who are subjugated by the male members of the family. They thought that playing this sport would make her undesirable as she will have to struggle hard to find a potential husband. She, on the other hand, resolved to chase her dreams. Her hard work paid off for the first time in 2014 when she won a silver medal at Common Wealth Games. A woman with remarkable dignity, Sakshi is truly a gem who will definitely change the way wrestling is perceived with regard to women in India.
Touted as the “sport daughter of India”, Karnam Malleshwari has played a pivotal role in putting Indianwoman on the sports world map. She carries the privilege of becoming the first Indianwoman to win an Olympic medal in 2000. Her bronze medal in weightlifting in women’s 69 kg division was a savage blow to the archaic mindsets of those people who perceived women as the weaker sex. Hailing from a small village in Andhra Pradesh, Karnam was bold enough to break all barriers and emerge victorious. Her parents remained her pillar of strength throughout her eventful journey. She scaled heights under the mentorship of a Belarussian coach named Leonid Tarankohe. She is definitely a woman of substance and a great inspiration for all those trying to prove their mettle in this male-dominated field.
Mary Kom is a famous name in the world of boxing. Who knew that her victory in 2012 London Olympics would transform the landscape of Indian boxing. Playing against Nicola Adams of Britain, the Manipuri girl scripted history by clinching a bronze medal in the women’s fly category. She has always been a five-time world champion in the 48 kg category. Her dreams of securing a gold medal at Rio Olympics have been shattered after she failed to qualify for it but her passion for the sport is inspiring. She aspires to have a bright future for boxing in the country. She is working towards its materialization by training young students in the sport.
Who isn’t familiar with Saina Nehwal? She became a household name at the young age of 22 by becoming the first Indian badminton player to win a medal at Olympics. Battling against China’s Wang Xin, Saina bagged the bronze medal in the women’s badminton singles event at the London 2012 Olympics games. The calmness she shows while playing is a trait worth imbibing. Her exemplary performance at both national and international levels was never left unnoticed. She is the brand ambassador for the Girl Child Campaign in India. Saina Nehwal’s success story resonates with a lot of girls belonging to humble backgrounds aspiring to achieve global fame in this sport.
The 21-year-old P.V Sindhu vaulted into history by becoming the first Indian to win a silver medal at Olympics. She couldn’t beat the world number 1 Carolina Marin and couldn’t get the gold medal in her kitty but won the hearts of millions of people through her stupendous performance in Rio Olympics 2016. She grew as a sportsperson under the auspices of the former badminton player Pullela Gopichand who is famous for pushing his pupils to achieve great heights. Her exceptional fitness regime is often considered as the main reason behind her success at Rio 2016. The kind of endurance and flexibility she showed on the court speaks volumes of the sheer hard work that has gone in the making of this champion.
These five women have taken the entire world by storm. They have come to the fore at a time when the country is grappling with the social issues of patriarchy, molestation and female infanticide. Their success is a golden chance for Indianwomen to start believing in themselves and reach the pinnacle of their careers.
Charvi Kathuria is an aspiring Freelance Writer. These days, she is scrutinising everything and anything that comes her way. Reading has become her favourite past time. She calls this hobby of hers, "food for brain".