Virender Singh: The Padma Shri award winning Silent hero of Indian wrestling

Wrestling News: Virender Singh has not been gifted with a voice, but his exploits on the wrestling mat have created sounds which can be heard across the seven seas. Famously known as ‘Goonga Pehelwan’, the three-time Deaflympics gold medallist, was awarded the Padma Shri on Republic Day. He is the first from his community of deaf and mute athletes to achieve this feat. It was a massive recognition of his talent and the hardship faced by him since childhood.

Born in a farmer’s family of Sasroli village, near Jhajjar, Haryana, he was inspired to take up wrestling by his father Ajit Singh and uncle Surinder Pehelwan, who were wrestlers too. As a deaf kid, he was bullied in the village and his uncle brought him to Delhi to live at the CISF akhara with him and his father. It was then that Virender developed a keen interest in the spot.