by Sweta Narayanan
It’s not just another sport. Or yet another sportswoman.
The first time I heard about Rohini Rau, it’s the sport she so loves and excels in that drew my attention more than anything else. It’s not everyday that you hear a sportsperson, especially a woman, bagging laurels for her country in sailing.
It’s not a field where men dominate. In fact, in a country like ours, I am not sure if sailing is even considered a serious sport. Yet, here is a woman who has managed to make her mark in something different. All this at 24 years of age and while simultaneously pursuing a course in medicine at the Chenglepattu Medical College. Not easy at all. Her blog bears testimony to this: “It hasn’t been easy doing medicine and my sport! My first year was quite hard…”
Doing a balancing act, I am sure, is not new to Rohini, who has been sailing since she was 11. I can’t remember having so much zest and vision when I was 11. It’s no wonder then that people have tagged her ‘superwoman’. Rohini has won a total of ten national gold medals, five national silver medals and 2 Asian gold medals. She is the first Indian woman to win an international medal in an Olympic class.
And sailing is not all that she does. She is into a variety of sports, from throwball to gymnastics to Yoga. Her extra-curricular interests range from playing the piano and the violin to Bharatnatyam and Jazz ballet. Her humility is what I am sure will set her apart from others in the long run. In her own words: “A lot of people think I have a great life… and that it’s all hunky dory all the time. But you will all be quite happy to note that I am no extraordinary human being.”
Rau, Rohini. “Rohini Rau: India’s Number One Woman Sailor”