The picture above, meant for ignoramuses like me is of Vijender Singh from Bhiwani, Haryana of whose existence I did not know until I read the papers yesterday. He won the Commonwealth Boxing Championships gold in the 75 kg category on Wednesday and was already the world no.1 when he added this, another very shiny feather to his cap. Incidentally he had also won bronze at the 2008 Beijing Olympics thereby adding another feather to my ignoramus cap earned by achieving the feat of never having heard his name. In a country ridiculously short on sporting heroes, it's a matter of shame that everyone does not know about this world champion in our ranks. No, we'd (or more appropriately - I'd) rather watch Shilpa Shetty and Preity Zinta cheer their rather mediocre IPL teams from the stands than know about a guy who actually has won something and must have been doing so for quite some time!
Here's an anecdote from Wednesday's gold medal match that'll shed some light on why Vijender is at the top. First round of the final and Vijender takes a blow above his eyes which opens up a cut. Blood starts seeping out, not a great sign as boxing referees will very likely stop a match right then and there if the cut starts bleeding significantly. So what does our Vijender do? He in his post match interview says that he controlled his breath, breathing long and deep so that his heart does not get hyperactive and start pumping blood out out of his eye cut. Not only that he eventually manages to stem the blood flow simply by this 'breathing technique' if you will, and goes on to defeat his British opponent comprehensively. Imagine that! Getting beaten to pulp by an opponent, only occasionally managing to dodge his jabs, upper cuts and haymakers, all the while thinking "Breathe easy!... Breathe easy!... Breathe easy!"
Ha! And you thought your day time job was tough. Welcome to the real world.