October 3, 2022
‘We’re Human, Not Robots’: Grappler Vinesh Phogat Slams Critics


Hitting out at “so-called fans and experts” on social media, star Indian wrestler Vinesh Phogat condemned the negative criticism leveled at him during the World Championship, saying “athletes are not robots.” Vinesh also called upon fellow athletes to keep working hard so that this unnecessary criticism culture can be ended. On her way to redemption, Vinesh became the first Indian female wrestler to win two World Championship medals when she won the 53kg bronze in Belgrade last week.

However, the manner in which they lost against Mongolia’s Khulan Bakhuyag (0-7) in the qualification round drew sharp criticism on social media platforms.

Vinesh, however, made a strong comeback and won two repechage rounds and then the bronze play-off without losing a single point. The 28-year-old is not someone who holds back and came up with a lengthy statement that showed just how hurt she was by the criticism.

“Athletes are human beings and being an athlete is a big part of who we are, it doesn’t mean we act like robots every time a tournament is announced. Not sure if this culture is in every country. Or is it just India where we have a lot of experts at home,” Vinesh wrote in her post.

“Every person, whether professional or not, has faced hardships, struggles and challenges through their journey.

“The difference is that the world doesn’t comment and criticize them, thinking they’re professionals and experts in their careers. But we have many who consider themselves experts in the sport who think they’re an athlete. Efforts, difficulties and know what to train. Vinesh questioned the constant scrutiny of athletes.

“Why are we as athletes accountable to them about every detail when all athletes come back, from commentary on how they should train, to what they should be doing instead of support and encouragement when times are tough.

“It is very discouraging when people assume that they can comment on when athletes should stop or end their careers, when they should and should not play.

“A win doesn’t always mean that an athlete has done something extra extraordinary and a defeat doesn’t mean the athlete hasn’t tried during that game. Victory and defeat are a part of every athlete’s journey and Athletes work hard every time.” He also said that critics have no idea about the effort and resources that go into preparing an athlete.

“It’s so easy to comment on these things because for them it’s just a day of their lives after watching this match, they don’t realize that these things can seriously drag along and affect the condition of the athletes, their mood. can affect especially in difficult times.

“Things are great with social media now connecting all the fans and supporters, but times were simpler when social media was not involved in spreading these comments and negative criticism.” Vinesh asked fellow Indian athletes to keep dreaming and work hard and hoped that unnecessary criticism would end.

“Here’s to all my fellow athletes who have the courage to put themselves through a difficult journey over and over again and show compassion to their dreams without fearing people,” she wrote.

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“My dear athletes, we are all on the same page and have similar journeys. Hopefully, someday we will try to change this culture with our continued efforts, courage and dedication.”

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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