Hardwork behind his dream
25-year-old Manish Singh Rawat pursued his dream of taking part in the Olympics and finished 13th in the finals of the men’s 20km walk event at Rio. While this might not be something Indian sports fans can boast about, it is definitely a great achievement for Rawat who knows what it has taken to reach this place. Rawat is a part-time waiter in a hotel in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. He wakes up at 4 am every morning, two hours ahead of his colleagues and starts his training.
Family in a critical financial condition
Instead of getting appreciated for his determination, people often laugh at him because his game, race walking has a funny posture. Rawat trained even when his family was in a critical financial condition. He had to take up several part-time jobs to make his ends meet and support his family. Rawat, who was at a time, working as a housemaid, tried to get a job in the Police in 2010 through sports quota, which could have given him a monthly salary of Rs 10,000 and get his events sponsored. Unfortunately, he was not given the offer.
He said, “I told my coach that I’m quitting; I couldn’t channel all my resources towards just walking anymore, and I had a family to sustain. Four brothers in Rs 1,500, not possible to run the family, and I needed the job at any cost. I was working as a housemaid as well that year to sustain my walking. I used to also act as a guide for tourists over there, so I used that money as well. But my coach convinced me that I had a future in this sport. I was running only 1:35 then, 15 minutes off what I’m running now. So I’m indebted to him for keeping me on.”
It took him a lot of hard work and struggle to finally being able to qualify for the Rio Olympics, he earned his berth at the IAAF walking challenge in April by leaving behind 300 competitors. In the finals, Manish walked 20km distance with a timing of 1:21:21, where he beat four former world champions, three Asian champions, two European champions and two Olympic medallists.