Sport has taught me to accept loss and perfect myself to win. It has made me humble and travel for sport has given me altogether a new perspective to life.
These are the words of World Para-Badminton Gold Medalist – Manasi Joshi.
The 30-year old Para-badminton star was six when she started playing badminton with her father. An Engineer by profession and an athlete at heart, Manasi narrates her life tale on how she lost her left leg in an accident in the year 2011, but never gave up on her dreams. Her father, a scientist by profession, encouraged her to achieve her goals without any limitations.
She expresses that every parent must expose their children to sports. This dimension can help a child grow and accept his surroundings and respect people and hard work altogether. Sports teaches a child more about the body, nutrition, health, teamwork which is a very important life skill. The Mumbai resident says “As a Para-athlete, I can sit and crib saying the same things about facilities, but I’d rather go out and demand a change.”
When asked about her views on Paralympics she explains “The culture of Games and Sports are catching up in popularity in the Indian audience and people are genuinely interested in knowing about the sport, athletes and individual challenges people face in pursuit of sports. Seeds of Paralympic movement have been sown and they are sprouting in our country where various conversations have started on access and disability rights.”
Manasi is a fighter and that’s what is visible while she is playing her matches. She takes defeat with open arms and strives to get better every time. In her own words “I have lost so much in life that winning and losing a match is nothing. Playing a sport and perfecting myself is a better reward than the end result itself.”
The gold medalist expresses her thoughts that she can’t see herself doing anything but sports. She has dedicated her life to badminton and without it she is nobody. During her free time, she loves reading books both fiction and non-fiction and tries to draw inspiration from various characters.
While playing in an office match I realised that I could still play and win badminton matches, that’s when I took my passion seriously. I won a lot of bronze medals and I am determined to win gold in the upcoming tournaments!
Badminton gave Manasi visibility and a whole new identity. No wonder she can think of nothing else than playing badminton. The sport has taught her to never give up, aim for the gold till the last breath and back that dream with relentless practice and determination.
Well, for all that matters, this is the best life skill that a sport can teach us.
As Manasi is gearing up to represent India in badminton mixed doubles in the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics, we wish her all the very best and hope that her story inspires millions to get on the field, stay fit, healthy and positive.