“Women shouldn’t fear, they are powerful and should follow their heart to achieve goals,” say’s Babita Phogat, while talking to TEHELKA on International Women’s Day.
From her initial days of training to missing her sister, the wrestler from Balali, Haryana who has won a gold medal in the 2014Commonwealth Games, talks about her dream to win a gold in Olympics
Has any woman in your family participated in wrestling before?
Nobody participated in our village but our grandfather and my father were wrestlers. In 2000 Olympics, Karnam Malleswari won a medal then my father thought why can’t his daughters win a medal.
What kind of training your father gave you during your initial stage of wrestling?
My father was a very strict trainer. He used to take me and my elder sister Geeta to the farms for running. Gradually, the training became very tough for both of us. He never compromised in training.
Have you ever been scolded by your father while training?
Yes, he used to scold us on various occasions during the training period. He made us practice with the boys and while doing so, if we somehow lost the match he scolded us. He trained us very hard.
How many hours in a day do you training?
My day starts at 4:00 am in the morning. After practising for three hours in the morning, I spent the same time in the evening too but during wrestling matches I practice even three times in a day.
Was there any incident when you were scared of wrestling?
No, my father always taught us not to get scared of anything and he nurtured us like boys.
Your grandfather and father both were wrestlers. At what age you started training for wrestling?
I started my training at the age of 10 and since last 16 years, I am preparing myself for winning a gold medal in the Olympics.
Diet plays an important role in the fitness, what kind of diet you follow?
I am completely dependent on desi diet which includes milk products, dry fruits and vegetables.
After Geeta’s marriage, do you miss her? Are you planning to get married?
We both did training together, we enjoyed each other’s company a lot and we both aim to bring Gold medal in Olympics. I miss her a lot but it’s a part of life. I am not thinking about marriage at this point of life.
Your look is completely tomboy and your younger sisters also have short hair is there any reason behind your tomboy look?
My father says hair distracts you from wrestling. So, I decided to have short hair and same thing my sisters followed.