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A ‘Salaam’ to Sushil Kumar Solanki, for his struggle in achieving his dreams and making India Proud: Birthday Special

Sushil Kumar’s achievements list speaks lot about his hard work and the struggles he fought against for achieving this reputation in life, along with making our country proud. Let’s have a look at his journey so far:

Sushil was born in Baprola village, near Najafgarh in South West Delhi. His father, Diwan Singh, was a driver in MTNL Delhi, while his mother, Kamla Devi, is a housewife.

The wrestler was inspired to take up wrestling by his father, himself a wrestler, and his cousin, Sandeep but Sandeep couldn’t continue with the wrestling as the family could only support one wrestler. Kumar started his training in pehlwani wrestling at the akhada (wrestling school) in the Chhatrasal Stadium from the age of 14 and later at the Indian Railways camp. With minimal funds and poor training facilities for wrestling in India, even for the 2008 Olympic team, his family made sure that Kumar gets all the necessary dietary supplements and used to send him tinned milk, ghee and fresh vegetables. He is a devoted Hindu and strict vegetarian.

Kumar has completed his Graduation (B.P.E.) and Post-Graduation (M.P.E.) from Noida College of Physical Education, Dadri. Currently, he is employed with the Indian Railways assistant commercial manager.

After switching to freestyle wrestling, all his achievements went largely unnoticed by the Indian media as he fared badly in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, placing 14th in the 60 kg weight class.

But later Kumar did all wonders when he won the 2010 world title, a silver medal at the 2012 London Olympics and a bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, which made him the only Indian (since independence) to win two individual Olympic medals.

Kumar carried the Indian flag at the opening ceremony of 2012 London Olympics. His Olympic medal was second for India in wrestling and the first since Khashaba Dadasaheb Jadhav’s bronze medal at the 1952 Summer Olympics.

Later In July 2009, he received the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna – India’s highest sporting honour. On 3 October 2010, Kumar handed the Queen’s Baton to Prince Charles in the Queen’s Baton Relay for the 2010 Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony. Sushil won the gold medal in the 74 kg division at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Not to mention, his biggest achievements also included the Arjuna Award in 2006 and a coveted Padma shree awarded by the Indian Government in 2011.

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