5 athletes in the Indian Olympic contingent who came from below poverty line
There are athletes in the Indian Olympic contingent who came from humble origins. They have seen several hardships and their families have sacrificed a lot to put them on the path to success. Against the odds (and often, against the rules), these athletes have excelled in sports they’re passionate about and inspired others to do the same.
That’s why we’re excited to look back at their achievements and spotlight some of the stories which haven’t made as many headlines as Saina or Sania, but are remarkable no less.
As Pierre de Coubertin, the father of the modern Olympic Games, said, "The important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning but taking part. The essential thing in life is not conquering but fighting well."
They have found a place in the sun despite all odds being stacked against them. Here’s a look at some other inspirations in the Indian Olympic contingent who rose from humble beginnings:
1. OP Jaisha
There is no denying that it might be a monumental year for Indian women in sports. OP Jaisha is one woman who struggled just to make it onto the field.
Born in North Kerala's Wayanad district, her father met with an accident when she was just five. It was up to her depression-ridden mother to look after all three daughters.
Their only source of income, three cows died after her father's accident which led to the family starve for days at times. Even, she used to eat mud to survive on a few occasions.
From walking miles and selling milk to Rio Olympics qualification is indeed huge. At first, she finished with a bronze in the 1500m at the Asian Games and followed it up by breaking the 19-year old women's marathon record at the Mumbai Marathon.
At the 2015 World Championships in Beijing, she finished 18th and booked an August date in Rio.