Sathish Sivalingam

  • A player who had the hopes of the entire Tamil Nadu pinned on him. He was the first Tamilian to win gold at Commonwealth Games.
    Sathish has won 2 gold medals till date. In the 2014 Commonwealth games that was conducted in Gold Coast, he won gold by lifting a weight of 328 kgs. In the 2018 CW Games that was held in Glasgow, he won the gold by lifting 317 kgs.

  • Sathish is from Vellore. His father is an ex-serviceman and he is employed as a watchman at VIT. The word ‘achievement’ doesn’t hold a candle to the effort and dedication that went in winning the 2 medals, despite his humble background.

  • The night before the 2014 Commonwealth weight lifting competition,  faces of those who discouraged him and their words flashed in his mind’s eye. All that pain drove him further and increased his determination to win a gold medal. In the end, his passion and the efforts he put into achieving it won over the negativity of those who discouraged him.

  • In fact, winning the 2018 competition was harder than that of 2014. The reason is that Sathish suffered a severe thigh pain during 2018, due to an injury. Somehow he managed to win a silver medal in the national level competition. But this gave rise to talks such as “Silver in National Competition? Then we can expect even a Bronze medal in International Competitions!”. With the help of Varun Shetty, his performance coach, Sathish recovered way better than was expected of him. His determination was stronger than the pain caused by the injury. He bagged the Gold Medal for the second time, with his determination as his only weapon! To those who underestimated him, Sathish has one one reply – “I’m a sportsman. Injuries and Recoveries are Hobbies to me!”

  • Sathish is a perfect example for the pitiful state of sports and sportspeople in India. Before 2014, he had next to no support. He worked in the railways and there were no favours from the railway department either. Initially, he wasn’t even allowed to participate in the national level competition. It was only after much struggle that he was granted permission to participate in the contest. Even then he had right restrictions so as to not let his training affect his performance at the job. Monetary support wasn’t granted either. Sathish’s parents supported him by borrowing from his relatives. After his victory, the grimace of those who rejected his advances turned into stories of how they know Sathish.

  • Athletics are a bit different from other sports – in the sense that the outcome is entirely dependent on the individual’s performance and there is no scope for external factors to affect the performance. Sathish chose weight lifting, a sport that requires strict adherence to a specific diet throughout the year. Straying away from this diet even for one day could reset the count from, say, day 215, to day 1. Sathish followed this diet religiously with whatever money he made. All this to make his dream a reality!

  • ‘Go Sports’ is an organisation that has helped Sathish at various junctures. Upon Rahul Dravid’s recommendation, Go Sports volunteered to help Sathish. Till date, Sathish never forgets to thank Rahul Dravid and Go Sports in his speeches.

  • In 2015, he was honoured with the prestigious ‘Arjuna Award’. But his target is the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, for no weight lifter has won this award till date. Sathish aims to bring glory to his field and other weight-lifters by winning this award. Next to the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award is his dream to win a medal at the Olympics.

  • As a successful sportsman, his advice to bidding sportsmen is, “Do not underestimate yourself.”