Karnam Malleswari created history in the 2000 Sydney Olympics and became the first Indian woman to win an Olympics medal. She has faced so many problems during her career. Althogh, Being an Indian woman, choosing sports like weightlifting itself is a very big challenge.
In a programme Malleswari said, “For a woman in a sport like weightlifting, I would always get a backlash from my relatives.”
She entered in weightlifting career because her sister was also a weightlifter. She shared that, “There was a gym close to the school that we used to go to and our district Srikakulam was already very famous for weightlifting. My elder sister was into athletics and the weightlifting coach there told her that her physique is good for the sport.”
She also shared that how she found weightlifting is interesting, “So she started weightlifting and I used to go there with her. I also became interested in the sport and told my coach that I would like to take up the sport. But he told me that I was not fit for weightlifting, that I was too thin and I should just help my mother in her household chores.”
She is very self confident since childhood, she said, “From my childhood I have had a lot of self-confidence so I felt pretty insulted when he said that. I felt how can anybody decide what I can or cannot do. So I decided now I have to excel in this sport and show him.”
Arjuna Awardee, Malleswari has retired in 2004 after playing in Athens Olympics. She is running an academy in Haryana and Andhra Pradesh.
She also has a desire that her trainees win Olympics gold medal. She said, “I am already running an academy and I am now making a residential academy that will hopefully be of international standard that can house upto 300 students. My only dream is that my girls go and win 10 Olympic golds for the one that I missed in Sydney.”