From Rohtak to Rio – Journey of Sakshi Malik, who let India shine at Rio Olympics
Wrestler Sakshi Malik ended India’s long wait by winning a bronze medal in the 58kg category, at the Rio Olympics, 2016. Sakshi’s medal holds significance in many ways! Sakshi Malik scripted history by becoming the first woman wrestler from India to bag an Olympic medal. Sakshi is the fourth female athlete from the country to climb to the podium at the biggest sporting event in the world, after weightlifter Karnam Malleshwari (2000, Sydney), boxer MC Mary Kom (2012, London) and shuttler Saina Nehwal (2012, London). Sakshi’s bronze medal is India’s 25th medal in the Olympics.
Sakshi Malik was born on September 3, 1992, in Rohtak, Haryana to Sudesh and Sukhbir. In a region, where wrestling is not considered a girl’s sport, Sakshi dared to dream about it just because of her supportive parents. 23-year-old from Mokhra village began her training in wrestling as a 12-year-old under the guidance of Ishwar Dahiya at an akhara in the Chotu Ram stadium. In fact, Dahiya too faced protests from locals when he took Sakshi under his wing.
Sakshi first came into the international limelight after winning Gold at the Dave Schultz International Wrestling Tournament (60-kg), in 2014. She also won a silver medal in the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.