Hailing from North India, Sushil Kumar Solanki became a state wrestling champion within 4 years after he started his training at the age of 14. Before becoming the first Indian to win back to back Olympic medals on an individual level, Sushil Kumar won gold at the World Cadet Games in 1998, bronze at the Asian Wrestling Championships in 2004, Gold Medal at the Commonwealth Games in 2004 at Melbourne, and gold at the Commonwealth Games in 2010 at New Delhi. He had a hard time in training to become a wrestler and even quit training as a teenager because his family was unable to support the training funds. But fate had altogether different plans and despite the poor training facilities available to a wrestler, Sushil Kumar made his country proud by winning one medal or the other at national and international wrestling championships. He won gold medal at the FILA 2010 World Wrestling Championships in the 66 kg Freestyle competition, a silver medal at the 2012 London Olympics in the Men’s 66 kg Freestyle Wrestling, and a bronze medal in a similar event at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. He also received India’s highest honour for a sportsperson “The Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna” in 2009, the Arjuna Award in 2005 and he was also honoured by handing over the Queens Baton to Prince Charles for the 2010 Commonwealth Games Ceremony in the Queens Battle Relay where he was chosen over Indian sport legends including Vijendar Singh, Abhinav Bindra and Leander Paes.
Sushil Kumar is a vegetarian and he also refused to endorse a liquor brand who were paying him 5 million Indian rupees for the reason that it would send wrong message to the youth who look up to him as their role model. Despite coming from a humble background Sushil Kumar had the guts to refuse such a big amount from a leading liquor brand because he is a man of principles who refuses to support anything that he feels is wrong. Today when most of the celebrities endorse insignificant things such as fairness creams, liquor, tobacco and the like, Sushil Kumar is not only an idol for the youth but also for the celebrities who blindly endorse anything without understanding its adverse impact on the youth. Employed as an Assistant Commercial Manager with the Indian railways, Sushil Kumar has also appeared in the famous reality show Roadies while it was in its 9th season. Sushil Kumar is an example for each and every individual who wishes to accomplish his or her dreams despite all the difficulties that lay ahead in life. With the help of his never say die attitude, strength and determination, Mr. Kumar has proved that nothing is impossible if one has the courage to follow his or her own heart.
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