Vinesh Phogat, the grappler who represented India in Rio found herself injured at the end of the games and took to rehab for eight months. The injury crushed her dreams at the Olympics and left her broken and shattered. This Friday, she won the battle with herself and won a silver in the Asian Wrestling Championship. She has made an exemplary demonstration of how women don’t get defeated till the time they want to be defeated. In the same championship two more wrestlers settled for silver but Vinesh explains why her silver is extra special for her.
In an interview to the Times of India, Vinesh explains her fears and says,”After the Rio injury, I was shattered. Uss waqt laga jaise sab khatam ho gaya. But after months of rehab, I went to Bulgaria to train, and there I practised with grapplers who were heavier than me. My body weight is 54 but I decided to fight in the 55 kg category. I worked on my fitness and overcoming my fears. So in this tourney, I was totally calm; as if no injury happened in-between. After two months of practice I got a silver and I’m happy. This one is special because with this medal, I want to tell all the athletes that you can come back after any injury if you work really hard.
Talking about how Sakshi Malik gets cherished by the entire nation for winning a silver at Rio, Ms Phogat says that this is how the world functions. In the Asian Campionship both Sakshi and Vinesh won a silver but she is getting all the attention. To this Vinesh says,” Chadhte suraj ko sabhi salaam karte hain. Before the Rio Olympics, I was being written about as a sure medal winner. And when I was lying injured, nobody even bothered to ask me how I was coping with my pain and everyone was busy interviewing Sakshi. Even before this tourney, everyone said they had a lot of expectations from Sakshi. Of course she has worked hard and trained so well, and so have we all.
Dedicating her medal to her mother Premlata, Vinesh says,“This silver medal is a small Mother’s Day token for my mom. Real gift will be the Olympic gold. It was her biggest dream to see me play all over again after that harrowing injury. And I’m sure her mind is at ease now that I’m back on my favorite turf.”
Read the full interview on The Times of India.