Wrestler Sakshi Malik won bronze at the 2016 Rio Olympics, becoming the first Indian female wrestler to win a medal at the Olympics.
Malik’s win was the first medal for India during the Olympics, making her the fourth female medallist from the country. Malik overcame opposition from a number who believed the sport was ‘not for girls’.
She began training in wrestling at the age of 12, after being motivated to take up the sport from her wrestler grandfather, Badhlu Ram. In the 2014 Commonwealth Games, Malik won a silver medal and a bronze medal in the 2015 Asian Wrestling Championships in Doha.
Malik has also been awarded the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, the highest sporting honour in India. She has a master’s degree in physical education from Maharshi Dayanand University in Rohtak.
Below you will find the best inspirational quotes from Sakshi Malik:
“My mother did not want her daughter to become a wrestler. But after I struggled and worked hard for a couple of years, my family became very supportive.”
“It’s so weird to see how people can change so suddenly, how they take interest in me now that I’m rising to the top, yet didn’t support me when I was starting out.”
“No one can understand the pressure of a player. I’ve given some big, big exams but never felt this amount of pressure.”
“There’s a lot of mental pressure, everyone has expectations and that puts me under pressure. But if we can overcome and fight, then the performance also improves.”
“It is slowly sinking in that I have won an Olympic medal and life is already feeling a bit different now. I was waiting and worked hard for this moment for the last 12 years.”
“I never gave up till the last, I knew I would win if I lasted till six minutes. In my last round, I had to give my maximum, I had the self belief.”
“I was confident all along. I always felt I would win. I did not back down and kept pushing.”
“I feel proud and special that I could get this medal for India.”
“To those who told me I am a girl and couldn’t wrestle, I want to say please show some trust, girls can do everything.”
“I never knew what an Olympics was, I wanted to become a sportsperson to travel in an aeroplane. If you can represent India, you can board a plane, and fly.”
“My life is very special compared to my friends. Some of them study a bit and then do household chores. The married ones are busy taking care of their husbands and babies.”
“It hurt a little and I wondered why people said such mean things especially when I was so young, and made me doubt myself.”
“I never thought I would become the first woman wrestler from India to bag and Olympic medal in wrestling. I hope the remaining wrestlers will also do well.”