Ravi Kumar Dahiya: I’m glad youngsters in my village will get more opportunities | Olympics - Hindustan Times
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Ravi Kumar Dahiya: I’m glad youngsters in my village will get more opportunities

ByMallika Bhagat, New Delhi
Aug 08, 2021 01:56 PM IST

Tokyo Olympics silver medallist, wrestler Ravi Kumar Dahiya says he’s happy to have won silver but not fully satisfied. Hoping that his medal bring positive changes in his village, he reveals that his next target is Paris 2024, where he aims to turn this silver into gold.

Ravi Kumar Dahiya etched his name in history after becoming the second Indian wrestler to win a silver medal at the ongoing Olympics. The 23-year-old wrestler finished on the podium in the final of the 57kg freestyle wrestling event and became one of the sixth athletes in India’s sporting history to win a silver medal at the Olympics. “Thoda disappointed hun kyuki gold hi chahiye tha, but khush bhi hu (I’m a little disappointed because I wanted gold medal, but I’m happy too),” says Dahiya.

Wrestler Ravi Kumar Dahiya recently won a silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics. (Photo: AFP)
Wrestler Ravi Kumar Dahiya recently won a silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics. (Photo: AFP)

His journey, from his village Nahari in Haryana to Tokyo, Japan is inspirational and shows his grit and determination. Coming from a rather modest background, he picked up the sport at a very young age and credits his father for his success. “When I was training in Delhi, my father travelled long distances each day to bring me fruits and milk for my diet. He did this for years. He is a farmer and though we are settled now, and woh aaram kar sakte hain, I won’t ask him to give up farming,” says the Olympian, who plans to head to his village and spend time with his family, after a long time. “Time bohot nahi hai kyunki training bhi karni hai, but I plan to head home and spend some time with my family, eat good food, because I’ve been away for so long,” he says, adding that he will also go to Chhatrasal Stadium in Delhi to meet his coach, Satpal Singh.

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The Haryana government had announced that Dahiya will get 4 crore, a government job and a plot at a concessional rate. And in honour of his victory, an indoor wrestling stadium equipped with modern facilities, will be built in Nahari. Dahiya adds, “It’s great news! Nahari has sent athletes to the Olympics in the past as well, and my village needs many facilities. I’m glad that all the people, especially youngsters there will get more opportunities to train.”

And the two-time Asian champion is now channelising his energy for Paris Olympics 2024. He says: “I’m going to gear up and prepare in full form. This experience (in Tokyo Games) will help me do even better and bring home gold next time. Tab tak mehnat nahi rukegi!”

Author tweets @bhagat_mallika

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