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UP Bhaiyyas dine with US president

india Updated: May 27, 2010 17:23 IST
Anuraag Singh

Till two years ago, 19-year-old Rinku Singh, the javelin thrower son of truck driver Brahmadin Singh, was considered to be a 'loafer' by his father, in the Holepur village, Bhadohi district, East UP. Another 19-year-old and javelin thrower, Dinesh Patel, of Khavpur village, Varanasi, worked as daily wager on construction sites to fund his training at Guru Gobind Singh Sports College at Lucknow, while staying with his maternal uncle. Last Monday the two sons of Bhaiyaland, who are now big ticket pitchers in the US Baseball arena were invited by none other than President Obama to the White House as special guests to the ongoing Heritage Month.

Acoording to, JB Bernstein who has been acting as sports agent and guardian for the rags to riches duo, the two pitchers, were among the 150 lumaniries, diplomats and celibrities from Asia and the Pacific Islands selected to attend the grand meeting with President Obama at the White House on Monday.

Incidentally, Rinku and Dinesh are the first Indian born athletes to have ever been signed for a US major Baseball club- Pittsburgh Pirates. In an e-mail to the Hindustan Times , J B Bernstein wrote, "Rinku and Dinesh were invited to a reception at the White House yesterday and met with President Obama….Amazing huh." On their blogs meanwhile, the two have vividly narrated their stay at the White House. They write , 'President Obama came to us and shook our hands and said it was the nice to meet us. He also said he was mesmerised with how we all in one room representing Asia and Americans, which makes us proud.' "It's a big honour…the once in life time meeting with the US president was unbelievable," they further added in their blog. A galaxy of prominent citizens of the US, whom Rinku and Dinesh met at the White House, included Nancy Pelosi (current speaker of the US House of Representatives) and US Congressman Mike Honda.

Also in their blog, the javelin throwers from Bhojpur mentioned that they took with them the special Pittsburg Pirates jersey for President Obama. And it was not only President Obama or who's who of US public life who met Rinku and Dinesh US, but also the DC United Soccer Team, besides members of the Italian soccer giants, AC Milan. And the Bhojpuri heartland duo did not stop there, as they had breakfast with American actor turned politician Kal Penn Modi.

It was the Million Dollar Arms contest in Mumbai in the summer of 2008, organised by American sports agent JB Bernstein, to find an individual in India who could hurl effectively for baseball, that won Rinku the top prize of $ 1,00,000 with a throw of 87 miles per hour, while Dinesh came second and both of them flew to Los Angeles.

They trained with University of Southern California pitching coach Tom House, who has trained pitchers like Nolan Ryan and Randy Johnson in the past. In November 2008, Rinku and Dinesh made history, after they were signed by Pittsburgh Pirates, becoming first Indian born athletes to sign American major league baseball contracts. And that was not all as Sony Entertainment Pictures, impressed by the duo's popularity in the US, even brought the rights to their real life stories last year to make a full length Hollwyood movie on their story.