Bat, Ball & Beyond!
“Somewhere behind the athlete you’ve become, the hours of practice and the coaches who have pushed you is a little girl who fell in love with the game and never looked back…play for her.”
-Mariel Margaret Hamm-Garciaparra
(Professional soccer player, Olympic Gold medalist, FIFA Women’s Cup champion)
They started with humble beginnings and carried the love for sports in their hearts. Pushing against all odds, they came forth and won our hearts. Who are they, you might ask? The queens of the fields, of course!
From time immemorial, women have been discouraged from pursuing sports as their career. It is presumed that they are weak and fragile. They are also encouraged to be lady-like and have delicate manners as if exerting muscles and competing on pitches is a barbaric activity.
As every story has a knight in shining armour, ours come armed with bats, racquets, and sheer determination. These badass women are proof that those stigmas are nothing but baseless restrictions to keep women in check.
The team at ‘The Complete Women’ is proud to feature our eminent women athletes who deserve a well round of applause!
The world of tennis welcomed baby Sania on 15th November 1986. Throughout her career, Sania has established herself as the most successful female tennis player who is one of the highest paid and a high-profile athlete.
Mirza was one of the names in the ’50 Heroes of Asia’ by Times in the year 2005. Again in 2016, she featured in 100 Most Influential People in the World by Time. She has also received the honour of being appointed as the UN Women’s Goodwill Ambassador for South Asia.
Mirza was formerly ranked No. 1 in the women’s doubles rankings. From 2003 till her retirement in 2013, she was ranked as India’s No. 1 player by the Women’s Tennis Association both in singles and doubles. Take a bow, Sania!
Sindhu’s almost victory in the badminton World Championship made her the latest talk of the town. She currently ranks No. 4 in the BMF World ranking. Sindhu rose to fame during the 2016 Summer Olympics when she became the first Indian woman to win an Olympic Silver medal. She is also the recipient of India’s fourth civilian honor, the Padma Shri.
She makes the whole nation bleed blue. Mithali Raj is the captain of the Indian Women’s cricket team. She is the highest run scorer in women’s international cricket and also holds the record of the only female cricketer to surpass the 6000 run mark in ODIs. She is the recipient of the Arjuna award for the year 2003 and the Padma Shri in 2015.
Chungnejang Mery Kom Hmangte or better known as Mary Kom is a boxing extraordinaire. She is five times World Amateur Boxing Champion and the only woman boxer to have won a medal in each one of the six world championships. She has been rightly nicknamed as ‘Magnificent Mary’ owing to her selection in 2012 Summer Olympics and winning a Bronze medal. She also became the first Indian boxer to get a Gold medal in the Asian Games in 2014 held in Incheon, South Korea.
Humpy successfully breaks the notion that sports are outdoor activities only. With mind-boggling intelligence and unbeatable accuracy, she became a renowned Chess Grandmaster. In October 2007, she became the second female player to exceed the 2600 Elo rating mark, being rated 2606. In the year2002, Koneru became the youngest woman ever to achieve the title of Grandmaster at the tender age of 15 years. Checkmate!
Another badminton prodigy, Saina has a plethora of achievements to her name. she is the only Indian to have won at least one medal in every BWF major individual event. She is the first Indian badminton player to have won an Olympic medal along with being the only Indian to have won the BWF World Junior Championship She also has the distinction of being the first Indian to win a Super Series title. In 2016, the Government of India conferred upon her the Padma Bhushan. She also bagged the nation’s top two sporting honors, namely the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna and the Arjuna award.
We, the people of India, stand tall with chests full of pride and love in our hearts. May these ladies continue to inspire myriads of generations and carve a place for India in the International sports federations. We salute their fighting spirit and the never-ending victory smiles. Cheers!