Yogeshwar Dutt on Tokyo 2021: Wrestlers will be unaffected by delay

In Gohana, Dutt and his team of 12 are feeding at least 3,000 people every day as the coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc in the country.

Published : Mar 31, 2020 18:56 IST , Kolkata

In 2009, Yogeshwar Dutt had to stay confined for six months in South Africa to fix his knee injury.
In 2009, Yogeshwar Dutt had to stay confined for six months in South Africa to fix his knee injury.

In 2009, Yogeshwar Dutt had to stay confined for six months in South Africa to fix his knee injury.


Olympic bronze medallist Yogeshwar Dutt has a simple solution to the problem of staying confined in the time of nationwide lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Sharing how his determination helped him stay isolated for six months in South Africa while recovering from a knee surgery, Dutt said the country’s collective willpower would beat the deadly COVID-19 virus.

The failure at the 2008 Beijing Olympics had made the wrestler hungrier for success. He had travelled to South Africa in 2009 for a surgery to fix his knee injury. The time required for recovery and rehab tested Dutt, who emerged as the winner to bag several medals in top level competitions including the 2012 London Olympics.

“I spent six months in recovery and rehab. I was almost alone. In those days, it was not easy to speak to one’s family over phone. I used to watch whatever Indian films came on television and listened to music. My only aim was to recover from the injury and become fully fit. I focused on that to overcome my loneliness.

“Right now, we should aim at beating coronavirus. This will make our stay at home easier. These days we have got so many facilities, including the social media, to stay engaged. Spending time with family is another good option,” Dutt told Sportstar on Tuesday.


Welcoming the postponement of the Olympics, Dutt expressed confidence that the Indian wrestlers would be unaffected by the one year delay. “All of them have been performing well for the last two to three years. They need to protect themselves from the virus, maintain focus and use the additional time to get back to top form again. They know how to do it, they just need to stay fit,” he said.

For Dutt, who joined politics during the Haryana elections last year, the social commitments have increased but he is monitoring all this from home. “In our Gohana village, we are feeding about 2,000 to 3,000 people every day. We are also trying to extend help to all the needy people in our locality. We have a 12-member team, which is looking into all this.

“Amid all this, we are following the rules of social distancing. The biggest challenge at this moment is helping the poor families with food and other basic needs,” said Dutt, who has shut down his wrestling academy to protect the trainees from the deadly virus.

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