- Mahavir Singh Phogat was an amateur wrestler who made his daughters champions
- He left wrestling due to financial crisis but rejoined later as the coach of his daughters
- He made his daughters world champion, who brought pride to the nation
Mahavir Singh Phogat became the idea of an ideal father after the release of the movie, ‘Dangal.’ Phogat sisters became a household name and the nation started to recognise and take women in wrestling more seriously. Phogat family has ever since became a prominent name in the world of wrestling.
Mahavir Singh Phogat is known mainly as the trainer of Phogat sisters. However, he is much more than just a trainer to them. He has his own achievements to show. Not a lot is known about this man who trained his daughters into becoming international champions.
Here are few things about Mahavir Singh Phogat you may not have known before.
Mahavir Singh Phogat was only 16 when he came came to Delhi. He trained under Padma Shree winning wrestler, Chandgi Ram, and became a State level wrestling champion. He dreamed of winning gold medal at Olympics, however, he had to give up on his dream due to severe financial crisis.
We all know, Phogat is blessed with four brilliant daughters, Geeta Phogat, Babita Kumari, Ritu Phogat and Sangita Phogat. Initially, even he didn’t believe that his girls could ever dominate the game with their prowess. However, Karnam Malleswari’s bronze medal at 2000 Olympics, inspired Mahavir Singh Phogat to give his daughters a try, and he decided to make them Olympic champions as well.
And not only his own daughter’s but Mahavir even took his deceased brother’s daughters Vinesh and Priyanka under his wings, and made them international champions as well along with his own daughters.
Mahavir Singh Phogat is also the recipient of the ‘Dronacharya Award’ by the Wrestling Federation of India for his excellent coaching skills in the sport.
‘Akhada‘ is the authorized biography of Mahavir Singh Phogat, written by the sports journalist Sourabh Duggal. It was released on 21st December, 2016 at the Chandigarh Press Club. It traced Mahavir’s life and his struggles along with his daughter’s training and hard work.
The movie Dangal.
Although the movie is said to be based on Mahavir’s life, it is only partially true. There are few difference between the real life and reel life of Mahavir Singh Phogat.
First of all, unlike in the movie, Mahavir Phogat was not at all disappointed with the birth of his daughters. It was actually the girls’ mother who was quite disappointed as she wanted a boy.
In the movie, there is shown a villainous coach whose methods clashed with Mahavir. However, nothing like that happened in the real life. Contrary to what’s shown in the movie, both Mahair and the girls’ coach were on quite a friendly term.
Also, this friendship means that Mahavir Singh Phogat wasn’t locked in during his daughter’s match. He saw the whole match from the stands and saw his daughter winning with pride in his eyes.
Mahavir Singh Phogat’s contribution towards the sports of wrestling are immense, be it as a wrestler or as a coach.