Competing with himself

Published: 12 November, 2012 08:41 IST | Deepali Dhingra |

A win at the Olympic Games is enough to make anyone feel at the top of the world. But if you thought Sushil Kumar would be taking it easy after that � he won a silver medal in the Men's 66kg freestyle wrestling event at the 2012 London Olympics � think again.

The champion wrestler is busy preparing for the World Wrestling Championship, Commonwealth Games 2014 Glasgow and Asian Games, Incheon, South Korea 2014. Sushil says, “My diet is more or less constant but when a tournament is well away, I do binge on aloo parathas and some of my other favourite delicacies. I need to stay fit and even though my wife is as amazing cook, I need to control my appetite.” He spoke to CS about dealing with fame and more:

Sushil Kumar
Who: Sushil Kumar
What: On his achievements
PIC/ Santosh Nagwekar

Gunning for gold
After winning a silver I realised that hard work does pay off eventually. I feel elated that I have made it this far and I'm undoubtedly eyeing for gold at Rio 2016 Olympics. I do feel the pressure after winning the silver for India. It’s been my biggest achievement till date but now I feel I’m competing with myself, to outdo my performance at the upcoming tournaments.

No distractions
Wrestling is not just a sport but to an extent, it defines who I am. It’s always going to be at the top of my list. I’m currently endorsing a variety of top brands in India. When you’re at the top, you learn how to prioritise your time and focus on things that are most important. I’ve never been distracted with various acting or fashion show offers but I’m glad that my fans perceive me as their style icon and are getting to see a different side of me.

My wife, my motivator
Savi has been my biggest motivation. She understands the constraints that come with being married to a sportsman but she’s been able to deal with the absurd schedule amazingly well. Whenever I'm stressed she somehow motivates me and brings out the best in me.

A boost for wrestling
Hum sab dost hain aur ek saath hi train karte hain. We all respect each other and celebrate each other’s victories. The government has been supportive and instrumental in encouraging young wrestlers to take up the sport. I am grateful to the government for selecting me as the Head of the Indian Railway Wrestling Academy. I hope to motivate the youth to take wrestling more seriously as a sport.  

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