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Alex Antony - How the son of a fisherman entered Indian Air Force and eventually fulfilled his Olympics dream

Despite humble beginnings and tough circumstances Alex Antony will be desperate to fulfil his dream at Tokyo Olympics

Alex Antony Relay Team India

Alex Antony has been selected in India's 4x400m mixed relay squad (Source: News18)


Anjishnu Roy

Updated: 11 July 2021 11:38 AM GMT

Take a while to consider this. You're born into a family residing in the coastal village of Pulluvila where the high seas are a staple of living. Travelling to Tokyo to represent the country in the most prestigious international sporting competition would not only seem like a distant dream but the pursuit of fool's gold.

However, 26-year-old Alex Antony's story is an important reminder for all of us. On why it's important to believe in lofty dreams. On why those unthinkable ambitions are separated from reality by only the bridge of extreme hard work, intense dedication, and a burning desire to not give up.

Far from the early calling that surrounds top-level athletes, Alex Antony revealed that if it weren't for the regular meals provided by his alma mater PKS Higher Secondary School in Class 11 and 12, he wouldn't even have been an athlete in the first place.

The son of a fisherman, Alex, along with his younger brother Anil, would often venture into the high seas to help out their father. The years growing up were admittedly tough but the sprinter believes that it was those tough years that helped carve the mental fortitude in him which further enabled him to achieve laurels in his career.

Even though Alex played football, much like every Keralite while growing up, it was his school physical education teacher Pradeep Kumar who identified where his true potential really lied. He was taken off from the football turf and was placed on running tracks and Alex proved his teacher's hunch correct.

He continued to fine-tune his skills throughout his school and college and managed to impress everyone after winning the gold medal at the junior nationals and at the Inter-Varsity Athletic Meet. Thanks to his consistency in the sporting world, Alex Antony was also selected in the Indian Force as an airman. He has been working and providing for his family ever since aside from his obvious pursuit of glory on the track and couldn't get the time to finish his degree.

Alex knows the pain and frustration of missing out on Olympics representation. With a decade of hard work behind him, he had built up his chances to participate at the Rio Olympics in 2016. However, an inadvertent injury crashed his plans and he had to be taken off training for over a year.

This time around, matters will be different. The entire village of Pulluvila leapt with joy as the name of Alex Antony was announced. He will now be representing India in the 4x400m mixed relay race in Tokyo along with Sarthak Bhambri, Revathi Veeramani, Subha Venkatesan, and Dhanalakshmi Sekar.

Having missed out on his dream in 2016, Alex would be highly inspired to give it all when he steps on the tracks of Tokyo. He has an added motivation to do so – his village was partially destroyed in a cyclone recently. Although Alex's family is safe, their house got affected by the cyclone and he has applied for a loan to reconstruct the house but it hasn't been approved yet.

In Tokyo, 'the fisherman' will be running not only to achieve his wildest dreams and make his countrymen proud, but he'd also be running to prove everyone wrong that humble beginnings can upset lofty dreams.

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