Yogeshwar Dutt, born on Nov. 2, 1982 is an Indian free style wrestler who has got glory to the country. He had won Bronze medal in the 60 kg category at the 2012 Summer Olympics, which was later upgraded to silver because the silver medalist, Besik Kudukhov had been tested positive during the dope test. He also bagged the gold medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Yogeshwar Dutt was born in Bhainswal Kalan, a small village in Haryana. Even though he had lost his father just nine days before he boarded his flight to Doha for the Asian Games, he managed to win the bronze at the 15th Asian Games at Doha in the 60 kilogram category.
He has been honoured with Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, 2012 by Government of India.
He serves as an inspiration to all the sports enthusiasts who want to pursue their career in wrestling and reach the zenith.
- Who had the greatest influence in your life which made you go in the wrestling field?
There was a gymnasium in my village. I went there to play with other kids. Some boys were wrestling there in sand. My Guru Ji, Master Satbir was owner of that gymnasium. He asked me to come there and practice daily. And then I started going to the gymnasium on regular basis for practice.
- When did you decide to become a wrestler professionally?
I had decided to be a wrestler when I was 8 years old.
- Who supported you the most throughout your jounery?
My family, friends and my Guru Ji had been my greatest support system throughout my journey.
- Who was your true inspiration in the field of wrestling?
When I was 8 years old and I had just started going to the gymnasium for practice, there used to be a great wrestler in my village, Pehelwan Balraj. He was quite popular back then. He had passed away during a wrestling match. At that time I had decided to become a great wrestler like him. I had no idea how to become one, I just wanted to be a Pehelwan. People used to talk about Pehelwan Balraj. I wanted to become a Pehelwan because I wanted people to talk about me like that. He had been my ideal in the wrestling field. I got inspired by him.
- Is there any specific match which has been memorable to you?
Every match is memorable, be it any tournament or championship. Every match has it’s own importance. Though matches during Pro Olympics against Masoud Esmaeilpour Jouybari (Iran) and Kudukhov(Russia) in repechage round had been quiet memorable to me.
- Is there any specific match you have enjoyed the most, inside the ring?
Wrestling is never fun. It is different from every other sport. Because almost every competition is difficult and all you care about is winning. Though after winning the match, you feel really great. You finally get to see the good results of all the hard work you had put into it.
- Whom would you like to give the credits for your success so far?
I would like to give that credit to my Guru Ji, my family, friends and all those people who believed in me and supported me throughout.
- What would you suggest for the betterment of our country in sports category?
Until and unless the base is strong, we won’t be able to get what we are dreaming for. The grasp root has to be strong enough, only then India will excel in sports. Children from rural areas have been found to be more talented, therefore we need to start from there. Government is putting a lot efforts but it’s not enough because we haven’t reached that level yet.
- Where do you see yourself in the coming five years?
Right now I am working on Common Wealth Games to be held in 2018. After that in coming years I would like to start my own Wrestling Academy. It would be started soon. I Would like to train kids better than myself who will get world championship medals for our country.
- What would you like to suggest the new comers in the wrestling field?
People who are starting out in the wrestling field should be disciplined and have a great aim to become a world champion for which they should work really hard. They should be very disciplined and away from any sort of addiction which is bad for the sport.