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This is what I wanted to be

The world wrestling champ Sushil Kumar chats about childhood, life after winning laurels, and more

education Updated: Jan 05, 2011 09:10 IST
Rahat Bano

School days
I attended a government school in Baprola village in Delhi. I was theek-thak (okay) at my studies. Due to family tradition, my heart was more in wrestling since childhood. I used to be at the akhara.

At school, I loved the PT period. We played football, basketball, everything.
Sometimes, I would miss classes. Roshni ma’am and Dilbag sir, our sports teachers, used to put in a word for me with my teachers to excuse me.

Childhood dream
This is what I always wanted to be. Did I have any other career in mind? A girl asked me at a college function about this today. I have said it 50 times. Why would I not become a wrestler?
No problem

Tiny little problems are part and parcel of life. I ignored them. The biggest one is to get up at 4am but that’s no problem. It’s enjoyable.

Injuries? If you want to play sports, then you have to suffer injury. I consider myself lucky. I got all the facilities and good infrastructure to train.

Family support
At home, everyone encouraged me to go in for wrestling. No matter what, my family provided for me and never let me suffer any problem.

Life after the wins
People have started recognising me on roads as well. Once, I was in Haridwar when a very old woman could identify me on the street. After that I was mobbed there. I would like to thank all my countrymen for the love and respect they’ve showered on me.

Road ahead
I am through with my MPEd and would like to do an MPhil, if I get time.
Now, I have to prepare for the London 2012 Olympics and try to bring a gold home.

Be a sport
Take the plunge, and earn glory for your country. Young people would do well to get into sports (not necessarily to compete). If you practise in the morning, you’ll remain fit and fresh the whole day. Especially, people who are perennially irritated must play.

Sushil Kumar As told to Rahat Bano