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Sakshi Malik is on Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People 2024 list

Sakshi was one of the prominent faces of the wrestlers' protest against the former head of the WFI Brij Bhushan Singh.

Sakshi Malik is on Time Magazines 100 Most Influential People 2024 list

Sakshi Malik is India's lone Olympic medal-winning female wrestler. 


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 17 April 2024 2:00 PM GMT

Olympic medallist, Sakshi Malik, is the only Indian sportsperson to have been featured in Time magazine's list of 'The 100 Most Influential People of 2024' in their latest announcement on Wednesday.

She was one of those wrestlers who gathered at Jantar Mantar in early 2023 to protest against the former head of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI), Brij Bhushan Singh. The group gathered to demand the immediate arrest and resignation of Brijbhushan, who is the ruling party BJP's sitting MP from Kaiserganj, accused of sexually harassing female athletes.

The 31-year-old Sakshi is India’s first and only female wrestler to win an Olympic medal. She clinched a bronze medal, staging a come-from-behind win against Aisuluu Tynybekova of Kyrgyzstan to win the medal at the Rio Olympics in 2016.

Sakshi alongside her fellow star Indian wrestlers Bajrang Punia and Vinesh Phogat, staged protests to demand decisive action against Brij Bhushan. The protest lasted for at least a year and made a significant impact on Indian sports.

They were drawing support from across the country and attention from all over the world. After the wrestlers’ protests, Singh was charged with sexual harassment, stalking, and intimidation, charges he has denied.

“This fight is no longer only for India’s female wrestlers,” said Malik of the movement she helped spark, “it is for the daughters of India whose voices have been silenced time and again.”

However, their protest didn't have a happy ending and shortly Sanjay Singh, a close ally and business partner of Brij Bhushan, was elected to oversee the WFI.

Sakshi, unhappy with the decision, announced retirement from the sport during a press conference. However, she did not quit the battle against Brij Bhushan.

Other athletes on this year's list included star F1 racer Max Verstappen of the Netherlands. Alongside Sakshi Malik, one more female athlete, Jenni Hermoso of Spain, an icon of women's football, has been featured on this list.

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