In his village,Bhainswal Kalan,in the interiors of District Sonepat,Yogeshwar Dutt was already an icon,having won plenty of international medals during his glittering career,including a feat that has eluded even Sushil Kumar a double Asian Championships gold medal.
But since his crowning glory the sensational London Olympics bronze last week the wrestlers house has become something of shrine. The stream of visitors including those from Bhainswal Kalan and adjacent villages,former sportspersons,leaders and felicitators hasnt dried up since Dutt has returned from London on Monday. The jet-lagged grappler politely receives everyone,hardly getting any time to even take a shower.
All congratulatory calls are answered with humility. Each new announcement the latest being Haryana government deciding to allocate land worth Rs 25 crore in Gurgaon,and a new 4×4 vehicle from a PSU bank is taken with gratitude.
Its evident that amid the accolades and rewards that have followed his repechage win over North Korean Jong Myong Ri,Dutt has managed to have his feet firmly on the ground.
This medal has changed it all. Now Im a known face. And all this accolade is great. Everybody is happy that Ive won a medal, says Dutt,visibly tired,but satisfied. But for me it doesnt change anything because I always knew that I could win Olympic medal. It took more time than I thought.
Always the one to go the extra mile,the 29-year-old has already started to plan his calendar for the next two years. He has set sights on the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and the Asian Games in Incheon the same year. But first on his priority is the one significant medal that missing from his trophy cabinet: a World Championship medal.
That opportunity will come in September 2013 in Budapest. I have two gold medal in the Asian Championships but none in the worlds. But for that to happen I need to train harder and stay fit, he says.