Happy International Women’s Day to all the Ladies! In celebrating women’s achievements and how the bar is only being raised, we here celebrate the women who have excelled in sports and have made individual names for themselves to carve a status and inspire millions to succeed with their heads held high. From cricket to football and rugby to hockey, women have excelled in every department and have worked their way through smashing patriarchy and leaving inspirational legacies behind.
In honor of celebrating International Women’s Day, we celebrate Indian sports personalities who have smashed boundaries and the narrow minded thinking out of the park.
Mithali Raj: At the age of 38, Mithali Raj is still going strong, which only goes to prove that age is just a number. The former India Women’s Cricket Team captain has defied all odds and have carved a niche in the field of cricket. Ranked highly amongst the most respected cricketers in India, Mithali was the first woman cricketer to reach 6,000 runs. She was also instrumental in creating history by leading India to the Women’s World Cup finals in 2017. It only goes to prove that hard work pays off and that cricket is no longer just a gentleman’s sport.
Mary Kom: Boxing is one of the toughest physical contact sports out there and only a few get to make it to the grandest stage. Well, Mary Kom is the only female to become the World Amateur Boxing Champion, six times. Apart from being a World Champion on multiple occasions and placing India on top of the charts in boxing, Mary Kom is a true inspiration to all. Hard work, perseverance, dedication, passion and commitment are the key ingredients to Mary Kom’s success, making her a legend in the sport.
Rani Rampal: Hailing from humble beginnings, Rani Rampal’s story to success is highly inspirational and once again it only goes to prove that success is nothing without hard work and sheer commitment. At the age of 15, Rani became the youngest player in the national team to participate in the 2010 Hockey World Cup. For 2019, she was also the first ever hockey player to win the World Games Athlete of the Year. Rani made India proud when she led the team to the finals of the 2018 Asian Games and bagged the silver medal. She has also has been awarded with the prestigious Padma Shri Award (2020) and Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award in Hockey (2020).
Dutee Chand: An Indian sprinter who has made India proud on many occasions, however, know the hardships Dutee went through to get to where she is. From being belittled to not being allowed to compete in competitions due to high testosterone levels, Dutee has brushed all the negativity and controversies surrounding her aside and has gone on to win medals at national and international level. Dutee opened up on the same-sex marriage and has joined the LGBTQIA + community, only going on to prove that despite all the odds stacked against her, nothing held her back from achieving her dreams.
PV Sindhu: The first Indian player to win an Olympic silver medal. Period. Abhinav Bindra’s 2008 gold medal is historic and adding the only silver to India’s tally in Olympic medals, is Pusarla Venkata (PV) Sindhu. Athletic, strong minded and focused, PV Sindhu has come a long way since 2009 and has climbed the top of the ladder through hard work and dedication. She is also the second international player to have won over five medals at the World Badminton Championships. In her achievements, PV Sindhu is also a recipient of the prestigious Padma Shri Award, Padma Bhushan and Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award. Other than the awards, Sindhu also made her way into the Forbes Highest-Paid Female Athletes.
There is no shortage of inspiration and stories for making it to the top by starting from the bottom. As legacies are left for all to learn from, here’s wishing all women a Happy International’s Day.