Sometimes you don’t need to know anything about someone except his or her story. And Jeev Milkha Singh’s story is something that even someone not at all into golf can appreciate with awe. Singh’s triumph at the Golf Nippon Series JT Cup was made all the more tremendous after the personal loss that he suffered after his wife’s miscarriage while he was playing in the tournament. It is hard enough to win against top-notch players and against one’s nerves at any top-level tournament.
But how does one focus on one’s skills, mental energy and, above all, the will to win when one is struck by personal tragedy? Lesser men would have crumbled, defeated by the sheer swing of sorrow. Singh showed that by winning one can indeed cock a snook at fortune when the latter delivers a terrible hand. On hearing the news of his wife’s miscarriage, Singh had decided to pull out of the tournament. But it was his wife who told him to keep going. This determination was fuelled by the fact that he came in from behind to trounce the front-runners.
Sports, like everything else, is an arena that is not cordoned off from life. But the will to win, a basic human quality has to be honed to turn it into a fitting reply to tragedies that are part of everybody’s life. This is why Singh is a special kind of winner.