The history-making gold medal winner sat down with Her Circle to talk about her game plan and the pains and pleasures of being a woman wrestler in India. From local dangals to international arenas, wrestler Geeta Phogat has come a long way. Phogat, who was born in a small village in Haryana, has been wrestling stereotypes right from her childhood. Amidst extensive social resistance, she has excelled in a sport that is predominantly perceived to be male-dominated. She answered critics and broke stereotypes with her historic win at the Commonwealth Games in 2010. She is the first Indian to win a gold medal in wrestling at the Commonwealth Games and also the first woman to have qualified for the Olympic Summer Games. But it’s disheartening to know that in a society that expects women to be dressed in a particular way, winning numerous world championships is not enough. Phogat still faces criticism for wearing shorts and playing a sport they believe should be only for men.
Society is changing gradually, she believes, but there’s a long way to go. In this exclusive interview, she talks about the women who have inspired her, motherhood, and why the next leg of her career will be bigger than ever.