My story is a freedom song of struggle. It is about finding one’s purpose, how to overcome fear and to stand up for causes bigger than one’s self. — Coretta Scott King.
This quote is reminiscent of Rani Rampal, India’s Olympic champion. With the difficulties she has faced for being the true inspiration that she is, she demonstrates that no matter what situation you are in financially, emotionally, or physically, you can achieve your goals if you have an eye for GOLD! She has touched a million hearts and made us realize that “if you have the courage to do something there is nothing impossible in this world”.
NAME- RANI RAMPAL
DESIGNATION- CAPTAIN OF INDIA WOMEN’S HOCKEY TEAM
Rani is from Shahabad Markanda, a small town in Haryana (Kurukshetra District). Her father was a cart puller who earned Rs 80-/ per day. She developed interest in hockey at a young age, but her father could not afford a hockey stick, so she practised with a wooden stick. She would practice in salwar kameez and her coach wasn’t initially supportive of her, but she persuaded him and got into hockey coaching, and after a lot of struggles and hardships, she finally got a national call at the age of 15.
The Indian superstar has a long list of firsts to her name. Rani Rampal has done it all, from being the youngest player in the national team for the 2010 World Cup at the age of 15 to becoming the first-ever hockey player in the world to win the prestigious ‘World Games Athlete of the Year’ award.
Rani was tired of all the difficulties her family was facing, even though everyone and her family advised her to marry. She said: “Just give me one chance, and if I don’t succeed, I will do as you say”. From “barely having two meals” a day to making history in Tokyo, India’s hockey queen has come a long way.
With all of her life’s ups and downs, Rani has never failed to demonstrate that “With great power comes great responsibilities, and with great responsibilities comes great power.” – Jim Kwik.
Have you ever witnessed or watched a hockey match? Most of the answers would probably be “No”. Being in India, the recognition players get playing the national sport is way below par compared to the other sports and our people have never supported our Indian women to be on the lead. Rani Rampal’s reaction to this was: “In my career, I’ve never seen anyone getting up at seven in the morning to watch a women’s hockey match,” Rampal was quoted as saying in an interview. “That’s a big change. People have started watching. The love, respect, and honour we’ve gotten upon returning make us feel like we’ve won a medal.”
Rani was recently offered the position of CAPTAIN OF THE WOMEN’S HOCKEY TEAM. She expressed her gratitude and stated, “It is a tremendous honour to lead the Indian team at the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020. My role as Captain has been made easier in recent years thanks to teammates who have shared the responsibilities as senior players. I am excited about this new responsibility and grateful to Hockey India, the coaching staff, and the selectors for this honour.”
Moreover, Rani has received prestigious awards such as the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna (2020) – India’s Highest Sporting Honour? Padma Shri (2020) – the fourth highest Indian national honour. She has taught us that no matter how difficult things get, if you have courage, you will get through them.
‘The Olympics either inspire or give hope to our country.’ Women on the rise inspire us to do anything we set our minds to and succeed. Women, in particular, have raised their voices against what is wrong, demanded their rights, and given a voice to the women who did not have the courage to stand up and move forward in recent years.
There are millions of unseen stories that inspire us, and you could be one of them! Because you must remember that by following your passion, you will not fail to make history!