Vijender Singh Beniwal
Vijender Singh Beniwal Profile and Biography
Vijender Singh Beniwal (1985 – ) is an Indian middleweight boxer. He is the first Indian to bring home a medal for India in a boxing event when he won the bronze after defeating Carlos Gongora of Ecuador in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. For this he was awarded the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, the highest award given to an Indian athlete for their accomplishment in any sport.
Vijender comes from the small village of Kalwash, in the Bhiwani district of Haryana. His mother is a homemaker and father is a bus driver with the Haryana roadways. Vijender has said he owes it to his father who would work overtime in order to afford to send both him and his brother Manoj to the village school so that they could have a better life.
Vijender and his brother were both inspired when a fellow Haryanvi, Raj Kumar Sangwan, was presented the Arjuna award for boxing. After his parents recognised their passion for the sport, they allowed them to prioritise boxing over education. By the time he was 12 Vijender was state champion and in 2000 he won gold at the national level under the guidance of Jagdish Singh.
After his win, Vijender was splashed in every media outlet across the country and became a pin-up boy role model for Indian youth. Although he has taken up a few fashion gigs in the past he is still an athlete and continues to train. He uses the attention awarded him by the media to further the cause of boxing, saying that too much emphasis is given to cricket which leaves little room and money for other sports. This Olympic hopeful at the London 2012 Olympics is looking to change that by turning bronze into gold.
Vijender Singh’s Events
- Men’s middleweight boxing
The state of Haryana has produced several top boxers on the Indian Olympic team. Can you find out who they are?
A one more version of this article in Mocomag Issue 15, here. (Link to http://mocomi.com/issue-15/moco-meet/ )
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