Juvenile aggression got this small-town tomboy into sport, but discipline booked her ticket to London. "It might be a combat sport, but knowing how to rein in one's aggressive streak is the key to judo,” says the Meerut-based Garima Chaudhary, the only Indian judoka who will be in action at the Olympics.
For a girl hailing from a conservative part of the country, Chaudhary had it easy. With a hockey coach for an uncle and a boxer for a cousin, convincing her family was not an issue. What about societal objections? “Even if the neighbours did say something, my parents never told me,” laughs the 22-year-old.
Chaudhary is headed to Germany and France for exposure camps in the lead-up to the Games. So, what should India expect? Referring to her win over a top-ranked Belarusian at the World Cup in February, the young judoka says, “It all boils down to what you do in the bout. I'm all set to spring a surprise.”
Ask her how she feels about the masses not knowing the difference between her discipline and other martial arts, pat comes the reply, “Let the medal come. Everyone will get to know what judo is.”