Perseverance and sacrifices form an integral part of every success story. And PV Sindhu’s tale as India’s first woman to win an Olympic silver medal is no exception. In pursuit of the much-coveted Olympic hardware, the young badminton player gave up the life enjoyed by bubbly 21-years olds without design on glory at the Games.
Her mentor, Pullela Gopichand – a former All England Open champion – knows all too well what it takes to reach the pinnacle of anythis sport. Being a strict disciplinarian, commitment and dedication are the top qualities that he seeks from any budding shuttler under his nurturing wing.
Sindhu fits the bill entirely. An extremely diligent pupil, she obediently followed whatever her coach told her in order to realise that Olympic dream. She even had her phone taken away from her for the last three months so as not to disturb her preparations.
“Sindhu did not have her phone during the last three months. The first thing is I would return her phone,” the 42-year-old said after Sindhu was defeated i nthe Olympic final by world No1 Carolina Marin in three gruelling games.
That was not all. The World No10 was even barred from touching her favourite dessert when the team arrived in Rio.
“The second thing, after coming here for last 12-13 days, I had deprived her from having sweet curd which she likes most. I also stopped her from eating ice-cream. Now she can eat whatever she wants,” added Gopichand.
The sacrifices extended to her parents as well. Since she was an eight-year-old kid, her father PV Ramana, a former volleyball player himself, tirelessly drove 60km twice a day to see that his daughter gets proper training under Gopi’s tutelage. Not only that, he even took an eight-month leave from work to be by her side during the crucial period heading into the Olympics.
Sindhu’s mother Vijayalakshmi even sought voluntary retirement from her employers to be able to impart her courage and strength whenever she needed it.
It has thus been a well-rounded team effort that brought India this long-awaited glory. Her story will surely act as an inspiration to millions of young girls in the country ready to spread their wings in the world of sport.
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