Mother's Day special: India's sports champions raise a toast for their moms
Champions Vijender, Sindhu, Saina & Co raise an anecdotal toast to their mums to make Mother's Day extra special
Badminton Olympics bronze medallist
My mother has not taught me how to perform in kitchen. I do not even know how to make tea! She does everything for us including me. If my mother is not home, my father is in the kitchen for me. My power and immunity come from my mother because of all the love she has given me since my childhood. She accompanies me on foreign tours and she helps me bust the fear of air turbulence which I know she is afraid of, too.
World No. 3 badminton player
For a mother to leave both her kids [brother Nanda Gopal and myself] in a hostel is heartbreaking. Since we lived in Guntur and the Sports Academy of Andhra Pradesh hostel was in Vizag, my mother used to travel every two weeks to spend time with us. I remember every time she would leave, we would start counting the days of her next visit. I can never thank her enough for all the sacrifices she made to ensure we got the best training, the biggest of which was to stay away from us when we were in the hostel.
Mother: Krishna Devi
I come from a very humble background. My father Mahipal, who worked for Haryana Roadways, was the sole bread-winner of the family, so our finances were always tight. When I began to grow in boxing as a teenager, I needed money for food supplements which are very important for a boxer's growth and development. I never dared ask my father for money and always approached my mother. She is a homemaker, so she never actually earned any money, but somehow, she always had savings from the household expenses that she would pass on to me.
Gurpreet Singh Sandhu
India football goalkeeper
Mother: Harjit Kaur
My mother used to accompany me every day for practice at St Stephen’s ground in Chandigarh in 2003. After she allowed me to go by bus, she still made it a point to follow me. When I got my bike license, I used to take my mother's scooter and head to the ground, but she followed me. She didn't have the scooter, so she used to take my dad’s car.
Badminton Olympics silver medallist
Mother: P Vijaya
One day I came home exhausted from practice. Looking at my tired state, my mother asked me if shifting to the Pullela Gopichand Badminton Academy in Gachibowli would make sense. Though I wanted to say yes, I told her that I could manage because both my parents worked in the Railways and if they have to go to work, it would take them one and a half hours to travel from Gachibowli. But after a few days, my parents found a flat and surprised me. My mother even gave up her Railways job to spend more time with me and provide me with the right nutrition and support system to completely concentrate
on my game.
India kabaddi player
In my childhood days, she would tell me, “Padhai to karte nahi ho, jao kabaddi khelo.” Now, whenever I get lazy and try to avoid practice, she urges me to hit the training ground. It is just impossible to bunk practice even for a single day. She is very keen on me helping India to win gold in the Asian Games at Indonesia and then contributing to Jaipur Pink Panthers becoming champions in next season’s Pro Kabaddi League.
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