Rohtak-to-Rio journey took 12 years
Looking at the photo above, one could see the happiness glowing on her face. This pic was taken in Rio Olympics 2016, where Sakshi won in a Bronze Medal in Free Style Wrestling ,58-kg category. India’s fifth wrestling medal in the Olympic Games. It is India’s 25th medal in Olympic Games.
India is a land of celebrations, as we all know. This win was much awaited since it was first for India in the Olympics’16 (though there were a few close encounters which didn’t much turn our way) , It boosted all those people who had been waiting since so long that India shines, and still never lost hopes and believed in their players. A Bronze Medal,in a normal scenario, is a symbol that you have been 2 places behind the Top position BUT This is not a normal Game or a tournament, its OLYMPICS, a big platform where the participants come from all around the World setting the standards so high that even getting into the competition is a tough Job on the first place.
People who reach till this position have immense knowledge about their game , plus one could say that they need to be best in that specific game to represent that particular game at such level. Sakshi’s Journey is an inspiration , a story of hard work and dedication. A story which highlights many different aspects of Indian Society. Its a journey from a small village girl to an Olympic Medalist.
There are a few point I’d like to make here:
- She is from Mokhra village of Haryana’s Rohtak District. I don’t want to sound too derogatory but this state hasn’t been much supportive towards the fairer sex. In fact the cases of Women Infanticide, Women Rapes, Forceful marriages at early ages , and such other social issues have been a big issue of the State since ages. So considering she is from that place I’m considering that she had a great support from her Family. Going out in the World alone , that too in Game like Wrestling is a serious business. SALUTE TO HER PARENTS, who held by her side all this while, It was just them who always trusted on her supported her or else am sure like any other village girl in India,even she would have been made to sacrifice all her dreams and get married to someone she doesn’t even know. Though things are changing but this mindset of people i feel will still take many more years to change.
- Did someone notice her surname, Yes MALIK.. this things do matter when one is in India. Not this place is discriminative, but still this matters, People do face you differently. Even she must have faced it at some point of time.
- It’s a Men’s World and she knew that very well. I remember when i was 12 years old i wasn’t even able to select between my two favorite flavors of icecreams(:D) But this girl , at 12 , began her training in wrestling under the guidance of Ishwar Dahiya at an akhara in the Chotu Ram stadium.I mean this is dedication. 11 years of training !!! WOW. This girl does have Strength. In fact during her training phase she had to fight against the boys as well .
- A daily routine in Sakshi’s is 500 sit-ups and intensive training. Well just reading this is giving me chills, maybe its not my piece of pie but than Sakshi .. Girl this is cracking, 500 sit-ups , I manage to pull max 10 on a go .LOL. Infact no one can so easily, there is definitely a lot of hardwork going behind this.
- Her coach, Ishwar Dahiya, had to face protests from the locals of village for taking a girl under his wing, since this game was not considered to be “apt” for girls. Imagine a scenario if this man would have given up in that postition , we would have lost a gem we see now.
I really do feel a person can’t achieve anything if he doesn’t have support in their life, be it anyone, even support from one person does matter a lot. and in case of Sakshi , she had many backing her.
And after reading so much about her, Let me tell you the best part about her, she is extremely down to earth person. Here’s her quote from one of the interviews she gave back in 2014 when she had won a Silver Medal in Common Wealth Games…
When I had returned home after winning the Commonwealth Games medal, everyone was after me and I could not sleep well.Every time I fell asleep, my brother or mother would tell me ‘get up, you’ve to give interviews, people are waiting’. But I enjoy it; not everyone gets a chance of this type.
There she is. She knows what she has got is a Big deal. And she is working hard to be there. Winning is not the end, after winning in India people start worshiping you, respecting the sentiments of millions is tedious.She has made all of them proud.
BTW her brother’s name is Sachin , and it was kept after the famous Indian Cricketer ,Sachin Tendulkar. Now that is some trivia.. A country where people worship Cricket … and this girl managed to bring everyone at the edge of their seats when she won that tight final game the Repêchage(Olympics’16) against Mongolia’s Orkhon Purevdorj, and then Kyrgyzstan’s Aisuluu Tynybekova. She had dedicated this medal to all those people who believed in her.
Besides one’s mentioned above, She had also won Bronze Medal in Common Wealth Championship in 2013 in 63 kg. and later in 2015 in Asian Games she was Bronze in 60 kg at Doha.
I never knew what an Olympics was. I wanted to become a sportsperson to travel in an aeroplane. If you can represent India, you can board a plane and fly.
This quote above, it just sums up everything. Her life has definitely changed. This quote gives us an idea that even if she has reached so high yet she is rooted, she had such child-like dreams, and fulfilling them was one of the motivating factors for coming so far. She didn’t know what was she working for, She wasn’t wrestling because she had to go to Olympics as said she didn’t even know what it was, She was doing it because on one hand she liked doing it and on the other she wanted to do it.
But this is just the beginning for Sakshi. As she quoted :