Me, The Change: Don’t Mess With 20-Yr-Old Wrestler Pincky Balhara
‘Me, The Change’ is The Quint’s campaign for the first-time women voter who has an achievement to her name, however big or small. As part of the campaign, The Quint is accepting nominations for these young women achievers and showcasing these stories. If you know someone who fits the bill, let us know by emailing at email@example.com.
Pincky Balhara has recently won a lot of accolades for her much lauded victory at the 2018 Asian Games, where she brought home a silver medal for India in ‘kurash.’ But that’s not all that’s there to the 20-year-old’s story.
Overcoming Personal Tragedy
Just three weeks before she was supposed to compete in the Asian Games at Jakarta in Indonesia, Pincky’s family was struck by multiple tragedies — three deaths.
But not Pincky, who went on to win India one of its first medals in ‘kurash,’ a form of wrestling that made its debut in the 2018 Asian Games.
Supported by her coaching team, which includes her uncle, the young wrestler carried on. But she was told by her uncle to forget the tragedy which had transpired and instead focus on her sports and win something for her country.
And Pincky did exactly that, striving to fulfil her late father’s dream of seeing her become a well-known sportswoman. A resident of Delhi’s Neb Sarai, Pincky said,
The road to the medal was tough for Pincky, especially after her father passed away. There were always a lot of people at home, making it hard for her to practice, she explains. With the trials nearing, it became imperative for her to devise a way to do so. In order for her to leave the house without people passing unwelcome remarks, her friend would get Pincky’s judo attire in a bag and her uncle would help her get out by saying that she was upset and needed some air. They would then practice in secret at the gym.
The Newfound Fame
Life post her win has changed significantly for Pincky, who is a student of Delhi University’s Gargi College. Before, she says, people would not interact with her much, but now it is different.
“It’s not that people disliked me, but I wasn’t particularly popular. But after the medal, I received such a grand welcome at the airport. It made me very happy to see that people who were complete strangers to me were also present there. I felt like I had achieved something that day, made my father and grandfather proud,” says Pincky.
But Pincky Only Has Eyes for Gold
Pincky has also become quite the role model for younger wrestlers who aspire to be like her. “At the sports academy at Munirka, there are a lot of young girls and boys who practise. Usually, after their practice session ends, they start playing among themselves. But when my bout is announced, they leave everything and come and sit and watch,” she says with a smile on her face.
Any regrets for the young champion? “My dream of winning the gold medal remains unfulfilled. Next time, I will fulfil that dream,” says Pincky.
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