Women are now excelling in almost every field. Earlier, sports were considered a field for men only. Now, women are playing almost every sport, and many have made their way to the Olympics as well. Hard work and determination are all that are required to achieve dreams. One such inspirational story is of Bhavani Devi. She is an Indian fencer. Bhavani Devi is the first Indian fencer who made it to the Olympics from India.
Bhavani Devi and Her Family
Bhavani’s father is a priest by profession. Her mother is a homemaker. When Bhavani Devi was just 1.5 years old, she went to her siblings’ school all by herself with a bag. Her parents were really worried and started looking for her. They found her outside the school holding onto her bag. Bhavani’s parents knew that their daughter was different and would do something unique.
Interest In Fencing
Initially, Bhavani joined the fencing team at school to stay out of her classes. But soon, with practice, she developed an interest and started liking the sports. Bhavani Devi never looked back after that. Bhavani mentioned, “I chose a sport that not many people aren’t aware of. In many instances, I didn’t receive any appreciation for winning any medals. Additionally, people judged me. But I did not give up. I worked hard and gave my best. I wanted to make my parents proud.”
Financial Problems Faced By Bhavani and Her Parents
It was difficult for Bhavani Devi to financially afford the training and all her types of equipment. Bhavani’s father mentioned, “We did not have any savings, and we had to take many loans. But it was completely worth it. My daughter had a chance to go to the Olympics and play. How could I not support her? I am proud of her.”
Efforts Made By Bhavani’s Mother
Bhavani’s mother traveled from place to place to get scholarships or sponsors for her daughter. It was difficult. Nobody knew much about the sport and wasn’t ready to provide financial aid. Her mother had to sell her gold ornaments. The mother supported her daughter financially and emotionally. Later, Jayalalithaa decided to fund her and helped her out. Eventually, other organizations also decided to fund her.
First Match Played By The Fencer
Bhavani Devi played her first international match at the age of 14. She was also the first Indian to participate at the Asian Championships (U-23 in 2015) and made it to the pre-quarterfinals of a World Championships (2019). Bhavani works hard and asks her coach to train her without any offs. She loves the sport she plays and wants to make the country proud by winning the game at different games.
Matches Won By Bhavani Devi
In 2010, Bhavani Devi has won bronze medals in the International Open and Cadet Asian Championship. Then, in 2012, Bhavani Devi won a bronze in the Commonwealth Championship followed by a bronze in the 2015 Under-23 Asian Championship and Flemish Open category. Additionally, in 2014, Bhavani won a silver medal in the U-23 category of the Asian Championship. Bhavani Devi has won a total of 9 titles to date. She is an inspiration for many to work towards their dream and choose what they love to do no matter what others think. Mad4India wishes her all the best for all her future endeavors!
If you loved this story, you can read – Hima Das, The First Indian Woman Athlete Gold Medalist.