Brazenly patriotic, without Indian complexes
SHAKING THE STRANGE IN FOREIGN FLOOR LEAVES ME WITH A FEEL OF JOY THAT IS REALLY NO PARAL Holding our national flag and running around the stadium after winning a game is the most exciting experience; The joy we experience at that moment is indescribable. Just as a soldier's heart fills with pride when the tricolor flies at the borders, we also wave our flag with pride every time we win a match for our country. And if that victory is on foreign soil, it is even sweeter. Shaking the tyranny in front of other nations is an incredible sensation.
- Ajay Kumar Reddy, Indian Blind Cricket Team captain
ALL THE FANS SING MY NAME, TELL ME THAT I PLAY FOR MILLIONS OF PEOPLE IN INDIA
I always felt that athletes are a privileged group when representing our country in the international arena, and anyone who has played for India can tell you what a great feeling it is. When the flag is raised and our national anthem sounds, you get goosebumps. That is a moment we appreciate as athletes. For me, the nation comes first. Even when I am in the middle of the court playing a difficult game, I remember that it is the country for which I am playing. That helps me look at the bigger picture. Also, when so many fans sing my name, it always reminds me that I'm not just playing for myself; I am playing for a billion people. Indian fans expect a lot from you, but they also support you like no other. I feel incredibly fortunate to be able to represent this great nation.
— PV Sindhu badminton player
When I see Indians waving the tricycle in a foreign country, it fills me with pride
As athletes, the training sessions we go through are strenuous, the hours we spend in the gym are long and brutal, and the effort we put into improving our game can be exhausting. But everything seems worth it when we wear the national jersey and go out to the field to play for India. I especially feel passion and pride when playing abroad. When you see Indian fans in the stands greeting the tricolor in a foreign country, your heart is filled; It is an incomparable feeling and even after all these years, it fills me with pride. It is that vision that has always motivated me to perform even better and to make my country proud.
— Mithali Raj , captain of the Indian women's cricket team in tests and ODI
‘I had goosebumps when the Indian flag was raised and JANA WINS MANA PLAYED AFTER WINNING A MEDAL IN COMMONWEALTH GAMES
My idea of patriotism is to be a responsible athlete. As someone who represents my country internationally, I realize that every game I win or lose goes to the account of our country. I don't believe in playing for myself; I play for my nation. It gives me immense satisfaction and a great sense of responsibility. For me, dedicating my game to my country is what patriotism is all about. I still remember the first time I saw the national flag rise when I won the gold medal (mixed Team category) at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. I was crying. I got goosebumps when we started singing the National Anthem after winning the medal. That is why I became an athlete and I will appreciate this feeling forever.
- Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, badminton player
I HOPE TO WIN A MEDAL IN THE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS THE NEXT WEEK AND MAKE MY COUNTRY PROUD ONCE AGAIN
Each athlete appreciates the moment when the Indian flag is raised after you win a medal for your country. For me, it is that moment that makes everything worthwhile; It is even more special than winning a medal. I am a born patriot; This is the kind of time I've always dreamed of being a part. My doubles partner Satwiksairaj and I recently became the first Indian couple to win a BWF Super 500 title (Thailand Open), and after we won that title, it was an incredible feeling. We hope to play well in the World Championship next week and to make India proud again.
- Chirag Shetty, badminton player
When I compete internationally, my only identity is that I am an Indian
When I was a child, I used to watch videos of Indian athletes winning in several international championships. every time the Indian flag was raised after his victory and the national anthem was heard in the background, it filled me with pride. I always wanted to experience that. This year, when I won a gold medal at the Junior Star Rhythmic Gymnastics Championship in Moscow, my dream came true. When he raised the national flag, he gave me goosebumps. Now, my dream is to be responsible for our flag to be raised in the Olympic Games someday.
- Ananya Garikipati, gymnast
‘THE MEDALS WILL COME AND GO, BUT SEE THE INDIAN FLAG RISING IS THE LARGEST MOMENT FOR AN ATHLETE '
When I work hard during practice and at times when I feel depressed, I remind myself that I am playing this sport not for myself, but for my country. My father always tells me: ‘The medals you win will be kept at home; What we really need to appreciate is the moment when our national anthem sounds after you win a match. It is that moment that I look forward to when I am playing for my country. I feel proud every time I hold the national flag after winning a match.
- Ragala Venkat Rahul, weightlifter
When I heard the national anthem while standing on the podium after winning a gold medal in Turkey, I understood the meaning of patriotism
When I was in school, they always played the national anthem after the assembly session. At that time, I never realized the importance of the hymn or what it meant to me as an Indian. But the day I won the gold medal at the World Youth Boxing Championship in Turkey in 2011, I went on the podium and played the National Anthem. That day, I started to cry. That was the moment when I realized the true meaning of patriotism; the true emotions behind the national anthem and what it means to play for your country. As athletes, when we won a medal for the country and climbed the podium to see the tricolor fly high, it is a moment that belongs to all Indians. It is not a personal victory, it is the victory of the nation. And it is the most special feeling.
- Nikhat Zareen, boxer
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With contributions from: [email protected], [email protected]