Not distracted by money and fame, PV Sindhu focused on gold in Tokyo

PV Sindhu’s father PV Ramana believes traditional Indian values have helped his daughter stay grounded, even in the face of success.

By Utathya Nag

Not money or fame but it’s winning medals on the badminton court that drives Indian badminton star PV Sindhu.

Ranked 13th in Forbes’ list of highest-paid female athletes of 2019, PV Sindhu is also the only Indian to feature in the magazine’s shortlist of 15.

“I was happy to see my name on the Forbes list. Being on it with other sporting superstars is sort of a motivation, not a distraction,” PV Sindhu said during an interview with India Today.

The Rio 2016 Olympics silver medallist, however, clarified that it’s winning medals for the country that was the biggest motivation for her to keep working hard.

“I don’t think I need more money. Getting medals is definitely a big thing (that matters). If you win medals, money will follow,” the reigning world badminton champion added.

PV Sindhu is only the Indian in Forbes’ highest-paid female athletes list of 2019

PV Sindhu’s father PV Ramana, who was also present at the interview, noted that the traditional Indian middle-class values of ‘achievements before wealth’ has helped his daughter stay grounded and continuously strive for excellence.

“The values are the same because we should not forget our past, where we came from. If we have that in mind we will automatically be grounded,” Ramana said.

Ramana himself is an Arjuna Awardee like Sindhu and was part of the 1986 Asian Games bronze medal-winning Indian volleyball team.

Looking ahead to Tokyo

Having missed out on the Olympics gold medal at Rio, PV Sindhu is readying herself for another charge at the top prize at the Tokyo Olympics.

The sudden postponement of the Games due to the COVID-19 pandemic has brought about a few unique challenges, but PV Sindhu is confident she can overcome them.

“When I came to know the Olympics were postponed, I was a bit sad because we were all prepared with just a couple of months to go.

“But then I was like ok there is just one more year and I will keep working hard. My goal is to become an Olympic champion and I will try hard for it,” PV SIndhu said.

With the Telangana government allowing sports training to resume this week after the COVID-enforced lockdown, PV Sindhu is already back at work at Pullela Gopichand’s academy in Hyderabad to make her dreams come true.