Who helped Virdhawal Khade to become the youngest fastest swimmer of India?
Swimming might be one of the relaxation mode or pastime or just a game for most of the people. But for Virdhawal Vikram Khade, ‘Swimming is a sport and everything else is a game’. Yes! He swims with such a passion that no one in India has given the competition to him.
Like all other beautiful things in the world that start growing from their early stage, he also started grooming his career from his childhood.
Let’s have a look over his journey; how it started, when it started, who helped him and what he achieved?
Born on 29th August 1991, in Kolhapur, Maharashtra, India to the proud parents who played a very crucial role in raising the motivation and support to Virdhawal Khade. His world was the swimming pool to which he dived at the age of 4. It was his vacation camp in Kolhapur that conducted swimming training, when Virdhawal was just 4 years old.
Parents having kids with such a small age do not allow their kids to step into water due to the fear of drowning. But Virdhawal’s parents was not one of them; they ensured all swimming safety precautions, so that little Virdhawal could not only learn, but also enjoy swimming.
“I started swimming in Kolhapur at a summer camp in 1995. Then continued the sport and reached my first nationals while training in Kolhapur in 2001”, says Virdhawal Khade.
Admiring the passion of Virdhawal for swimming, his parents allowed to attend all the training sessions for swimming. Not only this, they also boosted his confidence which helped Virdhawal to participate in various swimming tournaments. With this continuous practicing and motivational support, Virdhawal started competing in various swimming tournaments from the age of 9 within his native city, Kolhapur.
Year by year, Virdhawal kept working hard for his passion and finally, he got the recognition at the age of 15. This was the age that brought a huge turn in his life and career.
What happened, when Virdhawal Khade turned 15?
Before touching the age of 15, Virdhawal became the fastest swimmer of the world under the age of 15. It was his father who never demotivated or pressurized him with his dreams. Instead he started living his son’s passion and be it support, finding training institutes, exploring tournaments and pampering, he contributed every possible thing to his beloved son.
Virdhawal was raised with the outstanding efforts by his family such that now even Google will pop out the result with his name, if the search will be for fastest swimmer of the world under the age of 15. When Virdhawal dived for the first time in the swimming pool, neither him nor his father must have dreamt that he will get world wide popularity someday that too at a very small age.
It was a thrilling achievement for him and his family, but the only thing that he felt was that for swimmers, there was a lack of recognition and support by India. This could be demoralising for the other swimming aspirants, but fortunately, Virdhawal was one of the lucky children whose parents are the backbone at all times.
Virdhawal was given the nickname “Veer” that is reflecting his attitude of never dying. His nickname means brave warrior in Marathi. He got the name after winning outstanding titles and awards for his efforts and work.
In one of the interviews, Virdhawal Khade said, “It’s a breakthrough in Indian swimming but it will depend on what sort of support I will get. Swimming doesn’t have the support like cricket. Financial security is important and if I make big money in swimming then I will continue because I need my family also“.
Regardless of all other facts and the concern of Virdhawal about the lack of support to the Indian swimmers, he kept on stepping towards different milestones of success. Nothing came to his way as all the obstructions were eliminated by his family.
Thus, with his parent’s efforts, Virdhawal tasted innumerable successes which helped him to gain worldwide popularity. Let’s have a glance over it.
A sneak peek to Virdhawal’s success bag:
- In 2008, he participated in Summer Olympics held in Beijing. He competed in Freestyle swimming events that was of 50 m, 100 m and 200 m. For him, it was not just the competition, but also a challenge to win. His outstanding efforts and parental motivation made him to win 100 m Freestyle.
Although he failed to qualify the semifinals in the event, but nothing stopped him. He participated again in Asian games which held in 2010.
- In 2010, when Virdhawal Khade participated in Asian games, he dumped his failure of qualifying Freestyle semi-finals held in 2008. With the outstanding efforts and practice of two years, he finally succeeded in attaining his goal.
It was his father also who knew his son’s talent, so, instead of scolding or demoralising him, he said, “Udya gold pahije” (Bring gold medal tomorrow). His words inspired Virdhawal so much that he brought brought the medal for India after 24 years in 50 m butterfly category in swimming.
Recalling the entire incident, Virdhawal revealed in one of the interviews, “When I called up my father yesterday evening, he was upset and angry that I missed the medal.”
This achievement was the pride not only for him and his family, but also for India.
- Due to innumerable achievements in various tournaments, Virdhawal became the youngest faster swimmer of the world.
- Virdhawal is the national record holder in 50 m butterfly and 50 m, 100 m, 200 m and 400 m freestyle.
- He is the senior national champion of the event held in 2006. The event conducted 50 m, 100 m and 200 m freestyle and 50 m butterfly.
- In 2006, Virdhawal won six Gold medals and broke five Games record at 33rd National games, Guwahati and won six Gold medals and broke three game records at South Asian Games.
- At Olympics level, he is the youngest ever Indian swimmer to qualify the competition.
Some of the resources also mentioned, “It’s not a high revenue sport like tennis or shooting and parents want their kids to have a secure future. Unfortunately swimming is not a viable career.”
Ignoring all such things that could become obstruction for any champion, Virdhawal set innumerable benchmarks of success. He is one of the best inspirations for parents and young swimmers who believe that swimming is the least important sport in India and does not offer sparkling opportunities. However, Virdhawal and his family also thought the same, but ignoring these beliefs, they all together lived their dream and never stopped.
We have many more amazing facts about Virdhawal Khade that are very inspiring and praisable too. Most of us might not be knowing, so let’s dig-out them.
Facts about Virdhwal Khade, you might not know:
- Nihar Ameen coached and trained Virdhawal in Bangalore. Additionally, a sports non profit organisation, GoSports Foundation is supporting him and aiming to promote sporting excellence in India.
- Virdhawal attended the renowned training institutes explored by his father. Thus, he got the maximum exposure on various swimming styles. Resulting of this, his favourite swimming categories kept on changing from time to time. In 2010, 50 m freestyle and 50 m butterfly styles were his favorite ones. And, in 2011, he started liking 200 m and 400 m freestyle.
- Although his father is the sole body who helped his son with all the financial support, but there are many other reputed bodies as well who stepped forward to sponsor Virdhawal.
Because of outstanding talent of Virdhawal, Mittal Champions Trust sponsored him for his training, so that the champion could win Gold Medal for India in Olympics.
- Till date, there was no one from India who became the brand ambassador of an internationally recognized swimwear company. But, now it’s none other than Virdhawal Khade who became the first Indian brand ambassador of the international swimwear giant.
- Like all other kids and teenagers, Virdhawal also craved for junk and other unhealthy food items, but it was his parents who took care of his diet also. This might sound petty thing as usually, parents ignore or take for granted and feed their kids with all their favorite food stuffs. Virdhawal’s parents ensure that he consume ideal amount of carbohydrates as it is very important for a swimmer.
- Usually, winners and performers give up under pressure. Sometimes, a huge pressure also brings failure, but Virdhawal is one of the exceptions. He performs the best under pressure. Most of the time, he won the game, when he was under utmost pressure.
“I swim better under pressure. I was really hurt after losing out narrowly yesterday and it was the last meet of the season. I had to win a medal.” – Virdhawal Khade.
- Virdhawal always learned from his parents to explore more. Thus, he didn’t limited himself from other career options. When he turned 21, Virdhawal accepted the designation of Deputy Collector offered by Maharashtra Government. Being the best performer and numerous titles winner, he got another unique achievement by getting the new designation in government sector.
Flourishing all the skills, Virdhawal teaches a lesson to all the aspirants who are blessed with some talent and have potential to bring outstanding achievement for India which have been never won.
- One of the achievements that have been never secured by the country is the medal in Olympics for swimming. Virdhawal missed the opportunity in 2012, but now he is working hard and aiming to achieve the gold medal in Olympics 2016 for India in swimming. Like all other achievements, he can win the same with his parent’s support and could become the first Indian to win the medal in swimming in Olympics.
“Winning at Olympics is the epitome of a swimmer’s career and if not 2012, I am confident of winning a medal at 2016.” – Virdhawal Khade.
Like all other champions, Virdhawal also underwent difficult situation, but he managed to tackle and overcome all of those successfully.
Virdhawal’s family and coaches in his ups and downs:
“My parents, Nihar Ameen Sir and Subodh Danke Sir for the past few months and also a few friends who have always been there for me,” says, Virdhawal Khade.
- Some of the incidents of Virdhawal’s failures have been discussed above. In all those times, his family raised him by boosting his confidence.
- Another incident was when he shifted to Bangalore at the very small age for his training. Akin to all other kids, he also faced various challenges, but again it was his parents and coach who kept track over him. This helped him in training and winning in various events.
“It was obviously difficult staying away from family and alone in a big city like Bangalore. But I had good swimmers with me. My coach and parents kept a track of me and I was motivated to swim well at the senior level, which kept me motivated and focused.” – Virdhawal Khade.
How can India have more Virdhawal Khade?
Virdhawal has always been about the lack of support provided to Indian swimmers. As per him, cricket is the deemed as one of the prominent sport in India and therefore, it is funded and supported well.
Moreover, Virdhawal believes that India is blessed with numerous of talented swimmers who can bring a plethora of medals for the country.
In order to raise young swimmers, Virdhawal supports “Pratham Books”, an Indian printing firm who also published a book on the success story of Indian swimmer, Virdhawal Khade.
The bottom line is, it was his parents who made him to get maximum exposure at the small age of 4. They just admired his passion and searched for all the resources and right path that helped him to complete the journey of success.
The fact is, there should be willingness to help the child. It is not always mandatory that the parents must have knowledge of resources, right path and other elements. The reason being, nowadays, a lot of talent is popping out all over India. Thus, the number of training institutes and trainers have also increased.
So, being a parent it might become confusing for a parent to choose the best one. YoGems can help the parents to overcome such confusions.
YoGems is a one stop destination, where you can find all the training institutes, list of trainers, related information, advice from experts and everything about swimming. They can help you and your child to follow the right path, if you or your child want to live the dream of becoming the world popular swimmer like Virdhawal Khade.