The Hush Post: Daughter of a rickshaw puller father and mother as maid, both tea pickers, in Bengal’s Jalpaiguri, Swapna Barman,21, clinched a gold in the heptathlon event. Swapna is the first Indian heptathlete ever to win a gold at the Asian Games.
Sports is not only about the money, the country, its about the sweat, fighting adversity, bearing the pain, will power and determination to compete with the best. Who more than Swapna Burman could lead by example, a classic case of fighting multiple odds through years and bearing one right there on the ultimate day.
Fighting excruciating pain in her jaw due to gum infection, infact even mulling giving up on the rest of the events on the final day, she fought it out with a bandaged jaw. Participating in the long jump, javelin and 800m on Tuesday, and then despite the pain, winning the other 4 events –100m hurdle, high jump, shot put and 200m the next day was no mean feat. Striking gold was the icing on the cake which she baked with her tears, sweat, pain and latent energy.
She has 6 toes in both legs, shoes would hurt, she lived through the pain, she had no money for special shoes. Parents struggled to make both ends meet, yet streamlined meagre sources to fund her, then she chanced upon some scholarships and sponsorship from India’s ace cricketer Rahul Dravid.
Father bedridden after two strokes, and herself suffering chronic back pain, injuries, physiotherapy sessions, foot abnormality, and then the most recent gum infection, she bore it all.