While sports is mostly known for creating the most remarkable athletes, colourful characters, and some memorable heroes, sports loyalists have only witnessed a small throng of individuals leave as significant a legacy with their wisdom and thoughts as they have with their ability. Well, it is most often the euphoric addresses that have us enamoured and somehow get us riled up for what we now firmly believe is possible. In that vein, The Bridge has sifted over the glories of all the sports, seeking to look out for a few uber-inspirational quotations in the history of Indian sports.
#10 “Never Buy Gold, Simply Earn It.”- Mary Kom
Mary Kom is a five-time World Amateur Boxing champion, and the only woman boxer to have won a medal in each one of the six world championships. The only Indian woman boxer to have qualified for the 2012 Summer Olympics, Mary Kom has many quotes that could have made this list, but we thought we’d get her out of the way early.
#9 “A Reporter Asked Me Why Do I Want The Olympic Medal? It’s The Only Thing I Have Worked For All My Life And I Continue To Do So. Everyday!”- P T Usha
Remembered as the youngest Indian sprinter to compete in an Olympic event at a tender age of 16, P T Usha is always thought of as the victor. And 35 years later, she continues to be one of India’s glittering prospects in the athletic ecosystem. That’s Usha, more eminently addressed as the ‘Queen of Indian Track and Field’.
#8 “We Can’t Be Brave Without Fear.”- Yogeshwar Dutt
The 2012 Summer Olympics bronze medallist Yogeshwar Dutt was an amazing freestyle wrestler, and nothing got him to where he wanted to be more than preparing. So, we’d say he has room to talk about preparation.
#7 “The Preparation For The Tokyo Games Should Start From Yesterday.”- Prakash Padukone
Prakash Padukone holds the streak in badminton, for so many consecutive games played. At a time when India had no established badminton stadium, he achieved a feat no Indian player could have dared to dream when he won the All England tournament and topped the world ranking in 1980. You can imagine why he’d say this, as he just trotted out there, every day, for more than a decade and a half.
#6 “Failing Well Is Very Very Important. Great People, I Have Seen, Have Always Used Failure To Get Better.”- Rahul Dravid
The world-renowned right-handed batsman Rahul Dravid is always thought of as the victor, the one who took the shot no one else could make, and the one who transformed the game. In these simple lines quantifying his failures, Dravid shows that getting to success is never easy and that the failures are what make us who we are. He cannot be more right!
#5 “I Have To Work Three Times As Hard Now As I Did 10 Or 15 Years Ago. That’s Just Age, But I Love The Work.”- Leander Paes
Full of hard-nosed wisdom, Indian tennis icon Leander Paes is one of the greats that Indian tennis has ever produced. The man knows how to win, and, if he says wisdom is more vital than strength, you better listen.
#4 “Nagpur To Kanyakumari And Kashmir, Future Olympic Medallists Can Come From Anywhere. It Is The Passion That Drives You, Not The City, Provided You Get Enough Facilities.”- P V Sindhu
No one knows enthusiasm and integrity better than India’s Golden Girl. The World Championship gold medallist knows about losing, and here she shows what got her there: passion.
#3 “Setbacks Are Better Teachers, They Make You Stronger And When You Bounce Back, It’s The Most Amazing Feeling.”- Shiva Thapa
Four-time Asian medallist Shiva Thapa became India's first gold medallist at the President's Cup boxing tournament this year. In this, Thapa shows how it wasn’t easy to get where he ended up.
#2 “Must Not Host Olympics Unless We Can Win 40 Gold Medals.”- Abhinav Bindra
The first individual gold medallist of the country, Abhinav Bindra is known for his tenacity and determination. This must have been the result of a child-like vigor that he brought every day.
#1 “If You Want To Achieve Something In Life, You Have To Take Risks.”-Dipa Karmakar
At just 26 years, the Produnova magician Dipa Karmakar has left a framework for how to lead. Surely, this quote by Dipa is one to live by.
These words might have left some puzzled and others inspired. Which one do you want to live by?