Indian wrestler Vinesh Phogat on Sunday hits back to the so-called ‘experts’ and ‘fans’ who criticised her after the shocking loss in her opening bout at World Championship earlier this week. Vinesh was a strong contender to win a Gold for India at the World Championship.
However, Vinesh Phogat becomes the first Indian woman wrestler to win a second medal at the World Championships. She beats European champ Jonna Malmgren 8-0 to win in the repechage round in the 53 kg category at the 2022 Worlds.
Vinesh released a long note asking people to be more responsible about their words. Vinesh’s tweet came she was criticised and was accused of indiscipline. Sharing a four-page statement, the 28-year-old wrestler tweeted, “I hope everyone will be more responsible about their words.. Focus on what your athletes are doing well! People need to have a better perspective and stop the constant criticism in Indian sports.”
She wrote in her statement, “Athletes are humans and while being an athlete is a huge part of who we are, it doesn’t mean we work like robots every time a tournament is announced. Not sure if this culture is in every country or this is just India where we have so many experts sitting at home.”
“Every individual, professional or not, has chased hardships, struggles and challenges through their journey. Difference is the world does not comment and criticise them thinking they are experts on those professionals and their careers. But we have many who consider themselves as experts on sports who think they know the efforts, the hardships and what goes into training an athlete”, she added.
Vinesh Phogat further writes, “When we are criticised for not getting a medal every single time do these so called “fans experts know what efforts, resources and preparation go into this process. And do they know what goes into the preparation of the athletes they compare us with? Do the supporters from the other countries also criticise their athletes in the same way and manner?”
Vinesh continues, “It is very easy to comment on these things because for them it’s just one day of their life after watching a match, what they don’t realise is these things can seriously drag along and affect the athletes state, their mood especially in difficult times. Things are great with social media now connecting all fans and supporters but times were simpler when social media was not involved to spread these comments and negative criticism.”
The Wrestler concludes saying, “It’s true that not everyone will understand your vision and dream, people will question your methods until they see it on the scoreboard. But as athletes if we give up too early or lose courage too soon, we may never reach that turning point. Here’s to all my fellow athletes who have the courage to repeatedly put themselves through a difficult journey and show compassion towards their dream without fearing people. My dear athletes, we are all on the same page and have similar journeys. Hopefully someday we will try to change this culture with our consistent efforts, courage and dedication.”