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In an alternate world, will Rahul Gandhi be an Olympic medallist?

Rahul Gandhi's active interest and participation in sports have been often discussed and in an alternate world, he could have been an Indian sports icon.

In an alternate world, will Rahul Gandhi be an Olympic medallist?

The Bridge Desk

Updated: 10 March 2021 6:02 AM GMT

Rahul Gandhi may not have had the people's mandate in the general elections of India and has only been the face of the opposition. But behind the serious face of politics, there lies a less-talked-about adventurous side of him. While the lockdown made us feel lethargic at home owing to the drastic changes in our daily routine, the Congress leader Rahul Gandhi seems to have not skipped out on his gym days.

Just a photo that appeared last week to have been taken shortly after Gandhi jumped into the ocean for a swim with fishermen in Kerala, has gone viral. In the photo, the outline of his abs could be faintly seen through his shirt. The faint outline was enough for several prominent people to heap praises on Twitter and asking him for fitness tips.

Rahul Gandhi's photo after he went swimming with fishermen in Kerala has gone viral. Source: Twitter

Vijender Singh, who won bronze and silver medals for boxing at the Olympics and Commonwealth Games, was among those who shared the image. He tweeted the image of Rahul adding, "Abs of a boxer… Most daring young fit & people's leader Way to go…"
Many don't know about the athleticism of Rahul, who had kept many secrets from the media. Earlier, in 2017 Rahul had revealed that he is a black belt holder in Japanese martial arts form Aikido. Rahul made the revelation when boxer Vijender Singh has asked him about the importance of sports in his life at the annual meet of the PHD Chamber of Commerce.

Rahul Gandhi during his Aikido classes (Source: Twitter)
At this, Rahul had assured the boxer that he'd share a video or photo of him doing so on social media. Congress party's official Twitter handle had retweeted photos of Rahul practising Aikido with renowned instructor Paritos Kar.
Dressed in a traditional keikogi (uniform) with a black obi (belt) tied around his waist, Rahul was seen showing off his technique in Aikido hand holds and wrist grabs. Soon after this revelation, a certificate had gone viral on the internet showing that he was also a national shooting champion. This certificate showed that Rahul had participated in the 32nd National Shooting Championship Competitions held in Delhi from 26th December 1988 to 5th January 1989. In this competition, Rahul won the number 1 spot in the 25 Mtr. Centre Fire Pistol category. As per the certificate, Rahul's score read as 271/300.

National Rifle Association Of India Certified Rahul Gandhi is Position Holder in 25 Mtr. Centre Fire Pistol (Source: Twitter)

The image was shared on a Twitter handle named Saurabh Rai. "In 1989, National Rifle Association Of India Certified Rahul Gandhi is Position Holder in 25 Mtr. Centre Fire Pistol @ National Shooting Champ," read the caption of the image. As per the details given on the handle, the user is a member of the Indian National Congress and NSUI.
It is not too often that politicians are seen foraying into the world of sport — other than the occasional flag-off for events or exhibition matches — but Gandhi's revelation threw open a chapter of his life far removed from the realms of politics. In the same annual meet, Gandhi had explained "I do exercise — running, swimming," which is why it is not hard not believe that Rahul Gandhi could have had a promising career in sports. Who knows, if he continued with his pursuits in shooting, one day we could have had another Olympic medallist shooter?

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