Vinesh Phogat: An Inspirational Figure for Indian Women

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Vinesh Phogat
Credit: Vinesh Phogat Facebook

Vinesh Phogat has not let a career-threatening injury at the 2016 Olympics stop her career, as she’s back on the mat and inspiring many.

Vinesh Phogat is a female Indian wrestler who comes from the famous Phogat family. The Phogat family was the subject of the highest-grossing Bollywood movie ever, Dangal. Vinesh is their cousin. In 2018, by bagging Gold at both Asian Games and Commonwealth Games, the 24-year-old managed to gain nationwide attention. However, what sets her apart from the rest is her attitude and ambition.

Coming from a family of distinguished wrestlers, Vinesh had a lot to live up to. Instead of just limiting herself to her family brand, she decided to move beyond it. She, in past interviews, has stated that she hopes to create an identity of her own. In today’s day and age, where Indian women are taking the center stage in every field, Vinesh stands out as someone who teaches to women that there is no need to be apologetic for having ambition.

In a recent interview, where she was asked questions regarding her attitude and her thoughts on people calling her arrogant she said  “Yes people say that (I’m arrogant), but I know what’s inside me. And if it helps me on the mat, I don’t bother. It helps me on the mat. People say it’s over-confidence but for me it’s belief. I don’t get intimidated and your opponent also notices the body language. Some people work on it but for me, it’s God gift.”

Vinesh Phogat was a favorite to win a medal for India at the 2016 Summer Olympics before she suffered a career-threatening injury in the quarterfinal. Despite that, she rose back and today dominates the wrestling mat. This journey clearly proved that women, just like men, can get back up to their prime despite losing heavy momentum. That is something that most of the Indian population refused to acknowledge. This year, Phogat became the first Indian ever to be nominated for the prestigious Laureus award. The Laureus Awards are a worldwide celebration of sporting achievements and Phogat is recognized as a Comeback of the Year nominee alongside American stars such as Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn.

With 2020 nearing, Vinesh Phogat not only becomes a potential gold medal winner for India, but also a figure for the country’s millennial population.

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