Sudesh Malik: 'Wrestling is life for Sakshi'

"Yes there has been an increase in women participating in sports. It is not just wrestling; a lot of girls have taken up badminton. It is not like the past anymore and even parents are giving importance to their daughters." said Sudesh Malik, Sakshi's mother.

Sakshi Malik, who won a bronze medal at the Rio Olympic Games, was awarded Rs. 20 Lakhs by IOA.   -  PTI

Wrestler Sakshi Malik, who won a bronze medal at the Rio Olympic Games, was awarded Rs. 20 Lakhs by IOA today. Sakshi’s mother Sudesh Malik collected the award as the wrestler is busy getting ready for the second season of Pro Wrestling League, which starts on January 2.

Sakshi's mother, Sudesh Malik spoke to Sportstar during the award ceremony today, in Chennai. Her mother talked about the changes in her life after Sakshi's Rio success. "People didn’t know us earlier. Now, they recognise us. They notice when Sakshi is travelling or anyone of us do. The world knows about her now," she said.

On being asked about the increase in participation of women in wrestling, she said, "Yes there has been an increase in women participating in sports. It is not just wrestling; a lot of girls have taken up badminton. It is not like the past anymore and even parents are giving importance to their daughters.

"Earlier, people used to think that wrestling is a sport for boys, but now even girls are playing and look now our girls only got the medals.Parents of aspiring wrestlers are curious about how we brought up Sakshi. They ask questions like – What did she eat, how did you bring her up, etc."

According to her mother, the key behind Sakshi's success is her prolonged focus and dedication towards wrestling. "Since she started wrestling, she has always been focused about the sport. For her life meant wrestling mat and home. She never partied or went out to socialise. She only concentrated on her game."

On Sakshi's future plans, her mother said, "Sakshi will continue to pursue wrestling the way she has always. Wrestling is life for her".