A lot of people have their own battles to fight and they try to overcome these struggles with determination and will power. We’ve seen many sportspeople who had gone through many difficulties and tough breaks and had succeeded in their life.
Rani Rampal, The captain of the Indian women’s hockey team had achieved success despite facing several hardships. Recently she was awarded Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, the highest civilian honor for a sporting personality in the country. When the names were announced, she couldn’t actually believe and sought confirmation from 3 or 4 people.
According to the reports by Hindustan Times, On the eve of getting her Khel Ratna award, Rani recalled all her struggles which came flashing, When 2 years ago during the Tokyo Olympics Qualifiers, The question of getting married popped up when she was at the peak of her career. She revealed how patiently she tried to make her parents understand that the goal is to focus on qualifying for the Olympics, which was her first priority. Back then she also told them that what she can achieve now as a player, she couldn’t achieve later and they understood her ambitions and supported her in every move.
Rani’s story from rags-to-riches in Indian sport is really inspiring. She hails from Shahabad Markanda, a village in Haryana, where there’s always a battle for recognition and equality for women. If a woman is successful and has a perfect paying job, then there’s definitely an intense pressure of tying the knot in the village of Haryana. Rani highlighted patriarchy issues in her village, which she too faced, but her father was her pillar of strength.
Rani also revealed her journey in the Indian women hockey team. At a very young age of 15, she was the youngest player, who was a part of the Indian national team. She has been a part of the team for almost 12 years, where she has witnessed a lot of her teammates moving out for the pressure of getting married. She had faced almost every single difficulty related to the game, family, health, financial condition, and pressure from the society, but she says that she feels blessed that in spite of the constant pressures by her relatives, her parents always respected her decisions and she’s privileged to represent the Indian hockey.
Apart from her family, she also gave the credits to her physio and trainer who were her defenders, from the start of her career, who made her pain-free for the matches during the last couple of years. Rani had been playing through pain for quite some time, but the enhanced levels of fitness and dedication from her trainer and physio had ensured that India reached new heights.
When asked about how she feels about receiving the Khel Ratna award, she said that it feels surreal and it’s a very great honor for her to receive the highest civilian honor and it’s a recognition for women’s hockey.
Previously, At the start of the year 2020, Rani had won the prestigious World Games Athlete of the Year award, which makes her the first-ever hockey player to achieve this feat. And Now, with Rani becoming the first-ever female hockey player to receive the highest civilian honor for a sporting personality, the Khel Ratna award, her 12-year journey from a tough competition to being the first-ever woman hockey player, the journey has just gotten better for her.
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It's really an honour to be one of the names for this year's prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award. In such tough times, I would like to dedicate this award to the Corona warriors and my entire team. I want to thank the sports ministry, the Sports Authority of India, Hockey India, my coaches, sponsors and all my friends and family. To be conferred with such an award before the Olympics certainly brings along a feeling of an added responsibility.
Despite all the ups and downs in her life, Rani’s story is truly admirable. And now she sets her heart to break more world records in the upcoming years.