It seemed like the most important day of her life. As she stepped into the court, the entire arena resonated with applause. It was a divine feeling, to be the hope and pride for a nation of 125 crore people. Till today, she had thought that India’s heart only beat for Cricket. Her sport was an underdog in terms of popularity, just like her. But today, history had to be created. An enormous responsibility rested on her shoulders. The hopes of her family, her great coach and most importantly, the crowd of millions that cheered her on each strike. The result of the umpteen sacrifices made by her, those rigorous practice sessions and the massive courage that she derived from them.
Badminton had been her passion and she was fortunate to have a family that supported her ambition along with a coach that accelerated her efforts to uncork her dexterity. She had been victorious many times before, but this was a victory that the nation had waited for, with baited breath. History had already been created as she was the first Indian woman to compete for a Gold in Olympics and also the sole Indian badminton player to reach this point. A silver was guaranteed but she still gave in her best to bring home gold.
Despite blazing stress levels and competition by an opponent with more experience than her, she managed to win one set. Literally, she knew she had lost her chance of Gold and will have to wait for four more years to accomplish that task. But, her heart knew that she had been more than just victorious. Being christened as the ‘Golden girl’ who brought Silver for India, Sindhu’s face was radiant during the felicitation. Her charming smile conveyed the intense patriotism she felt and the applause by her countrymen was a witness to her success. Social media roared with pride as the entire nation congratulated this prodigy who at the tender age of 21, had been the plume of hope and victory for India.
Her journey till here had been really tough but it is definitely not the end. Many more tournaments have to be won and much more honor is to be brought for the nation. She has redefined history, broken stereotypes and earned tribute for her coach as well as her game from the entire country. Sindhu, we don’t need a Gold medal to make you our hero. You have given us much more than that. You’ve built a hope that will linger on for years to come, that will empower many youngsters(especially women) to chase their dreams and most importantly, that slammed hard on those critics who feel that our sportspersons are worthless. You not only proved your worth but also inspired 1.25 billion hearts that unanimously beat for you.
Even though I seldom watch sports, your game truly enthralled me. Just like Sakshi Malik, the Indian woman wrestler to win a Bronze (another exemplar of strength and prowess) and Dipa Karmakar, the first Indian gymnast in the Olympics (she didn’t win a medal but won our hearts for sure), you too recreated history. Indian women seem to be on a storm in sports! For us, all of you are the real ‘Gold’. I don’t care what your medals say, but you are indeed the ‘Golden Girls’ of India. Thank you for empowering us and for proving once again, that when it comes to pride and honor, Indian women leave no stone unturned!
Note: The article is focused on PV Sindhu as hers was the only match I watched and she also happens to be a personal favorite. I'm sure though that all other women athletes are equally great and have made similar contributions to India's honor.