Silver medallist at the 2016 Rio Olympics, PV Sindhu, believes that it takes a team to produce champions at the highest level.
The Indian badminton player readily acknowledges that everyone on the team, be it the coaches, the support staff or the federation, play a key role in ensuring that the athlete climbs the ladder of success.
But for the Rio 2016 silver-medallist, nothing compares to the undying support that parents provide during a champion’s career.
Speaking to the newly appointed Assistant Directors of the Sports Authority of India (SAI), PV Sindhu, the reigning world champion, said that she was blessed to have parents who had played sports at the international stage.
Her dad Ramana is an Arjuna awardee and was part of the Indian volleyball team that won the bronze medal at the 1986 Asian Games, while her mother was a national-level volleyball player.
“Parents are the most important part of an athlete’s success as they understand the psyche of a child better than the others,” PV Sindhu said.
“I spend a lot of time with my father watching matches of myself and other players to analyse and plan my strategy against them,” she added.
PV Sindhu’s early start
While the struggles PV Sindhu faced during her formative years is well documented, not many know that it was her father who would accompany her to the Gopichand Academy daily for training.
“Initially, the biggest challenge for me was travelling around 120km daily (to the Academy and back to her home in Secunderabad). My father taking a long leave from Railway service was important as he guided me on the areas of improvement,” she said recalling her early days.
Bundle of energy
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought an abrupt halt to PV Sindhu’s season. The Hyderabad shuttler is restricted to home but has had the luxury of enjoying the company of her 13-month-old nephew, Aaryan (her elder sister’s son) who stays a few houses away.
The young Aaryan makes periodic visits to Sindhu’s and has proved helpful in lifting the Indian shuttler’s mood in such uncertain times.
“Yes, there is no doubt that Aaryan is a bundle of energy and a big source of immense joy,” Sindhu's father was quoted as saying by Sportstar.
With the 2020 season still undecided, PV Sindhu is expected to look forward to 2021, a year that will not only see her try to clinch the Olympic gold, but also defend her world title. This after the BWF announced that 2021 World Championships will be held in Huelva, Spain at the Carolina Marin stadium from November 29-December 5, 2021.