Hours after PV Sindhu clinched the bronze medal for badminton at the Tokyo Olympics, Indians across the world are hoping for another medal, this time from the Indian women’s hockey team. Following a nail-biting victory against Australia today morning, team India has gained entry into the semi-finals. With this, the women created history as the first Indian women hockey’s team to enter the semi-finals at Olympics. The social media erupted in joy and many are comparing the current team to Bollywood move Chak De! India.
When News18.com reached out to Vidya Malvade who was a part of the film, she felt really proud of the team. “It’s ironic because generally reel gets compared to real life and here it is the other way round. I have seen a lot of comparisons since morning and it makes me feel proud of being a part of such an iconic film. Also, our girls have beaten Australia, and in the film, we too beat Australia to win the finals. It’s a proud moment for all of us. This is so nostalgic. As Indians, we are all extremely proud of what our girls have achieved today and very happy," she said.
Shah Rukh Khan, who played coach Kabir Khan in the iconic film also shared a tweet hoping for gold for Indian Women’s Team.
Haan haan no problem. Just bring some Gold on your way back….for a billion family members. This time Dhanteras is also on 2nd Nov. From: Ex-coach Kabir Khan. https://t.co/QcnqbtLVGX— Shah Rukh Khan (@iamsrk) August 2, 2021
Malvade played the character of Vidya Sharma who is the captain and goalkeeper in the film. The actor says there are a lot of parallels drawn on social media between her character and Savita Punia, the current goalkeeper of the women’s hockey team. “What we did in the film was all scripted and we knew what was going to happen. We had an option of a second take. But with Savita, she was actually in the line of fire. She saved around nine attacks and that just makes me feel so proud. She along with the entire team has been phenomenal. It requires tremendous power, sweat, and grind to be out there and prove all the detractors wrong and they have just done that. They have truly created history."
Interestingly, the film will complete 13 years next week, and the actor hopes that the girls bring back the gold medal, “Chak De! India was released on August 10, 2007, and the finals are on August 6 so it is an interesting coincidence that is about to happen. I am keeping my fingers crossed. I have been following the matches, and I think this team’s journey is very much similar to what was shown in the movie, which is what is making me feel more connected to this win. I have been smiling since the time I have heard the news."
The songs from the film were being played at the North Pitch of Oi Hockey stadium which was like a goosebumps moment for the actor, “It is just amazing to hear the title song and Badal Pe Paaon Hai being played at the match. There is a feeling of nostalgia and it takes me back to the days when we were shooting for the film." Vidya says that the victory will change things for women’s hockey, “From a team which didn’t win a single game in Rio 2016 to beating Australia to reach the Semis in Tokyo 2020, women’s hockey has come a long way. I hope this is the beginning of a new era."
Her co-actor Chitrashi Rawat, who played the role of Komal Chautala in the film and who has been a former player in the Indian women’s hockey team is also ecstatic with the win. “It is simply superb what our girls have achieved. For me, who has been a hockey player, who was a part of the movie, it is a different feeling altogether. I am not just proud of this team, but also thankful to these girls for giving me a chance to relive those moments, feelings that we went through when we shot the movie and saw it on the screen for the first time,’ she says.
Rawat also recalls the time when she would train with Vandana Kataria, who became India’s first woman to score a hat-trick at the Olympics. “We have been in the same camp and I have seen her game closely. She is one of the finest players and truly deserves all the success she has achieved."
Sagarika Ghatge, who was also part of the team in the film, congratulated the team on social media. Sharing the pictures of the Indian Women’s Hockey team, Ghatge wrote, “The Indian women’s hockey team created history today by entering the Olympics semi finals for the first time - congratulations to the whole team and more power to our women."