“The qualification of eight boxers from our country itself speaks volumes about how the sport is gaining popularity. We’re not yet at par with the major sports but we’re getting there,” he says. Viju, as he’s fondly called, is nothing less than an icon for many sports enthusiasts, but is a simple lad at heart. “After a hard day, I just like to be at home, unwind and spend time with my wife and friends,” he says. CS speaks to Vijender about his preparation for Olympics and dealing with fame:
Giving it his best shot
Boxing has just become a part of my daily routine so I practice almost everyday regardless. For the Olympics, my training became more rigorous and focused. I paid a lot of attention to my technique and form. At the same time, I was very particular about my diet. On one hand, I am thrilled and proud to have qualified for the Olympics and to be given this opportunity to represent my country on such a prestigious platform but at the same time, I try not to dwell too much on it and just concentrate on my training and giving it my best effort. The more you think about how big the event is the more you end up pressurising yourself. So instead, I just focus all my attention on my performance.
This one’s for the country!
I believe that you should put in your best effort, train and practice well, be focused and nothing can hold you back. I have given it my best and I hope this time too, I return home with a medal. If I come home with a medal I would be ecstatic, on top of the world. The feeling when you win a medal at such a prestigious event is a feeling of pride and happiness.
Changed for the better
I really don’t get that much attention, at least I don’t realise if I do. I personally feel that whatever attention and compliments I do get are because of what I do in the ring and not because of any other reason. Fame and success make you aware of who you are. It has changed me a little because now I am more responsible about everything I do. I know I have to practise harder not only for my sake but because I now represent our country.