There’s no shortcut to success, says taekwondo queen Baidya
KATHMANDU, AUG 07 -
While the world watched in awe Olympians like American swimming star Michael Phelps and Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt at the Olympic Games, all of them attribute their success to common factors: hard work, dedication and patience.
Nepal’s campaign at the London Games may have ended abruptly, but one of the country’s past Olympians urges her fellow sportspersons to follow those three things with persistence.
“Continuous hard work with all your heart and soul without losing hope on most depressing occasions is what it takes,” said Sangina Baidya, one of the most influential sport figures in the country. “Working on your weaknesses and pursuing your dream separate you from the crowd. You’ve got to walk the lengthy road no matter how difficult it may be.” Baidya
defied social barriers and prejudices, shattering the preconception of Nepali athletes miserably failing on the world stage to become the first South Asian woman to qualify for the Athens Olympics 2004.
It was the first time that a Nepali athlete had secured a place at the Olympics on merit rather than on a wild card. Apart from fellow taekwondo player Deepak Bista, no other Nepali athlete has claimed a place at the Olympics through qualifiers.
Her progress at the Olympics might have been shortlived—bowing out in the preliminary round—she gave all the Nepalis a reason to believe that nothing is impossible.
According to her, Nepal’s dismal run on the world stage is due to the three main reasons. Firstly, the never-ending political fiasco of the country. Insecurity and uncertain future in the sport field, and finally, the frustrated mass.
Baidya’s entry into the discipline was an accident though she was very much into sports since childhood.
“It all happened after my first encounter with a Bruce Lee movie,” she continued. “I was so fascinated with the way Lee fought in his movies that I started dreaming about becoming like him. I have spent my time in copying his style of fighting.”
Baidya started her career at the age of 16 and went on to become a most decorated female taekwondo player before retiring at the age of 34.
The five-dan black belt has won two gold medals at South Asian Games and a silver and a bronze at the Asian Taekwondo Champion-ships and has a five-dan black belt.
The 37-year-old, who has always considered taekwondo a part of her life, has taken up coaching after retiring as a player. She currently teaches taekwondo at GEMS School and Armed Police Force.
In her career, she has won various awards—the NSJF Best Player of the Year in 1996, 1997 and 2003. Best player of the year from Nepal Taekwondo Association in 1994, 1996. Outstanding taekwondo player from National Sports Council in 1995. Best player of the year award from the Ministry of Youths and Sports in 1997. Best youth award in 1997. Prabal Gorkkhadakshinbahu, Suprabal Gorkhadakkshinbahu and Trishakti Patti—to name a few.
Reminiscing her first experience abroad, Baidya said she was dumbstruck coming across the equipment used by foreign players, their training regime. And what envied her the most was “the squeaking sound produced by their shoes.”
Despite repeated offers to take up a position as a taekwondo instructor abroad, she has chosen to stay behind and serve the country. “My country has made a lot of investment on me and I am indebted to pay it back by serving the way I can.”
Posted on: 2012-08-07 08:59