Away from the badminton court nursing a stress fracture injury, 2-time Olympic medallist and reigning Commonwealth Games champion PV Sindhu is dazzling on the cover of Grazia magazine’s fashion special September issue.
Skipping the World Championships in August and taking some much-needed time off from the hectic and demanding badminton calendar, PV Sindhu opened up on a lot of topics – speaking candidly on sacrifice, her breakdown and breakthrough moments, sexism in sport and the future of India as a sporting nation for the cover story of the Italian fashion magazine’s Indian edition.
Jogging back the years, Sindhu recounted tales of sacrifices she has had to make and what her family, as a whole had to do, to encourage badminton and for her to pursue the sport with such intensity.
“I played on the railway grounds long before we could access LB Stadium and Gachibowli facilities (in Hyderabad), which were 27 kilometres from home. My father was my rock; he drove me back and forth to school and from training sessions at odd hours. As I continued to build my skills and confidence, my parents amazed me with their dedication, eventually quitting their own lucrative jobs to support me,” Sindhu revealed in the interview.
But her climb to greatness hasn’t always been smooth and the former World Champion and India’s lone female athlete with 2 medals from the Olympics has had failures teach her life’s harshest lessons.
“Initially, success eluded me. I realised there was still much work, and I decided to commit to it wholeheartedly. I have played matches where I grossly misjudged my opponent’s strategy or where I injured myself mid-game – but each disappointment can lead to new learning if you let it,” a wiser Sindhu conveyed.
A celebrated and well-loved sportsperson now, PV Sindhu has matured beautifully and it shows in the calm poise she has in the pictures, where she stuns but also holds her own too, in a seamless way, both on and off the court.
Looking optimistically ahead at India’s sporting future, Sindhu hopes that more initiatives can be taken to promote the culture of sports and tap into talent. “I hope more schools and universities will prioritise physical education and training, even for an hour each day. Parents need to be open-minded and support unconventional dreams and career aspirations,” she has said, extremely pleased with the progress of how weightlifting, wrestling and kabaddi have grown too.
PV Sindhu will be hoping to return to action in October when the badminton season kicks off full-fledged again.