Sprinter Dutee Chand, who bagged two Asian Games silver medals in Indonesia, in an interaction with NDTV at the Yuva Conclave talked about her struggles and journey so far. Dutee said that she did not have an easy childhood and had to face a lot of obstacles. “I had a very difficult time growing up. I used to run barefoot on the road, on the riverbank. Could not even afford warm clothes”, Dutee said.
The current national champion in the women’s 100 metres, talking about the most difficult phase of her life when she was forced out of the Asian Games 2014 in a row over her gender, said that she was determined to make up for lost time as she finally got her chance in Indonesia. “When I failed the gender test, it shattered my world. I was always raised as a girl but suddenly one day, they told me I wasn’t one”, Dutee Chand said.
— NDTV (@ndtv) September 16, 2018
Vinesh Phogat, Asian Games 2018 gold medallist, then spoke about facing resistance for being a woman wrestler.
“Geeta and Babita got to hear all that a lot more. But my mom used to tell me that my relatives used to comment on what I wore. It used to make me very angry,” Vinesh said.
In the popular Hindi movie, Dangal, which is the story of Vinesh’s father and her elder sisters – Geeta and Babita, it was shown that the Phogat sisters had a very strict childhood.
Vinesh validated the fact that their training used to be very intense and they used to feel that they are living in a jail.
Talking about what inspired her to make sports her career option, Vinesh said, “When Karnam Malleswari won the Olympic medal and she got a Rs 1 crore prize, it inspired a lot of people. That encouraged my family to send me in as well”.
— NDTV Sports (@Sports_NDTV) September 16, 2018
About Dutee Chand
Rio-bound India’s live wire sprinter Dutee Chand is all set to represent India in 100m race at Rio Olympics on August 12, 2016. Here’s why she’s one of the greatest athletes India has ever produced:
- Dutee was born in 1996 to Chakradhar and Akhuji Chand in Chakagopalpur in the state of Odisha, India. She started running when she was 4.
- She credits her sister, Saraswati Chand, as her idol and inspiration. Saraswati was an athlete herself and Dutee used to accompany her to training sessions at the local track. Watching her sister train, she developed interest in running.
- At the age of ten, she started training in India’s National program. In her initial days of training, she used to train barefoot.
— NBT Sports (@NBT_Sports) September 15, 2018
- Dutee was nicknamed as ‘Nano’ after winning the Tata car for her outstanding performance in the 2013 school nationals. Her close friends still call her with this name.
- In 2012, Dutee became the national under-18 champion in the Women’s hundred metres event when she clocked 11.8 seconds and was the first Indian to reach the finals at the World Youth Championships.