‘These days athletes are not satisfied with merely being Olympians. They want to win medals’
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India's wrestlers did the country proud at the London Olympics—Sushil Kumar won a silver, Yogeshwar Dutt a bronze and 19-year-old Amit Kumar displayed potential. In this Walk the Talk on NDTV 24x7, they talk to The Indian Express Editor-in-Chief Shekhar Gupta about how wrestling is picking up in India and how the country can look forward to a bigger medal tally at the next Games
I am in Delhi's Chhatrasal Stadium and my guests today are two of India's new crorepatis, two of the strongest Indians in whose glory we are all basking—Sushil Kumar and Yogeshwar Dutt. We in India have been desperate for medals for 50-60 years.
Sushil: I believe wrestling is picking up in India. It began with Beijing and in times to come, the situation will be much better.
You are India's senior-most wrestlers. You have played all over the world. How different is a wrestler's life from that of other athletes?
Yogeshwar: It's different in the way that we live in akharas and not in our homes.
Sushil: Some sports require speed, a thrower might require more power, some require more of stamina but wrestling involves everything. You have to be quick and you have to be powerful and you have to think as well. Within two minutes, you have to work your mind in a way that you make no mistakes.
The entire country saw wrestling with such craze for the first time during the London Games. Everyone was surprised that everything was over in two hours. We learned that a wrestler's mind should be very sharp because however strong you are, if your mind fails you, you'll be gone.
Sushil: Yes, and you have to work your mind in such a way that you make your opponent commit mistakes as well.