Geeta Phogat Biography : The Stunning Story of India’s Original Dangal Girl

7 min read

She is the eldest of the famed Phogat sisters, the first Indian woman to win the Commonwealth Games wrestling and the first Indian woman wrestler to qualify for the Olympics. This is none other than India’s very own Dangal Girl- Geeta Phogat!

Lets check out the stunning story of how Geeta rose on to the World’s Wrestling map…

Geeta-Phogat-The-‘Dangal’-Girl-1
Geeta proudly displaying her numerous medals
Full NameGeeta Phogat
Age30 (as of 2018)
Home TownBalali, Haryana
SportFreestyle wrestling
Height5 ft (1.52 m)
Weight Category62 kg
CoachMahavir Singh Phogat
HusbandPawan Kumar

Geeta Phogat Biography

When she was born, her mother was disappointed because she was a girl. Today, her parents couldn’t be prouder. Her father has time and again said that his daughters are no less than any son. The road till this acceptance and change of perception wasn’t easy for Geeta or her family. The Phogat family is a ray of hope in a state where girls are killed even before they are born. The achievements of the Phogat sisters have brought a revolution in Haryana. Geeta has spearheaded this revolution with determination. Today we take a look at her exciting journey.

 Geeta Phogat – Family

Phogat sisters with their brother
Unity is the strength! Geeta (in the center) with her three sisters, one brother, and two cousins.

Geeta comes from the most illustrious wrestling family of India. Her father is a former wrestler and is her coach as well. She has three sisters, who are wrestlers as well, and one brother. Her two cousins are also wrestlers. Geeta has literally grown up in akhadas and wrestling runs in her veins. Her mother, Daya Shobha Kaur was initially not happy with her firstborn being a daughter. However, now she is extremely proud of her girls and has no regrets whatsoever.

Mahavir Singh Phogat – The Man Behind Geeta’s Rise

It wasn’t an easy road though. Geeta’s father faced a lot of criticism and ridicule when he decided to train his daughters. Their entire family was ostracized by village patriarchs. However, this did not stop Mahavir phogat or his fierce daughters. Slowly and steadily the villagers came around. Geeta and Babita’s success has helped them accept the new norm. In fact, some of them have started sending their own daughters for training as well.

In an interview with The Times of India, Mahavir said, “Being a wrestler, I always wanted to see my children take up wrestling and they have done me proud. What difference does it make if it is a boy or girl as long as they are winning medals for the country.”

Furthermore, the girls used to get up early in the morning to train before school for around 3 hours and train again after coming. Mahavir always motivated his daughters to work hard. There were times when Geeta would want to skip her sessions. However, she believes all the hard work she put then, is the only reason why is as achieved so much. Very rarely does it happen that every member of a single family becomes so successful. The Phogat family has defied all odds to prove that discipline and dedication can take a person to great heights.

Geeta Phogat – Husband

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Geeta Phogat and Pawan Kumar at their wedding

Geeta married Delhi-based wrestler Pawan Kumar on November 20, 2016, in Haryana’s Charkhi Dadri. Their wedding attracted many political and sporting biggies. Aamir Khan, who portrayed the character of Phogat patriarch in the movie Dangal, also made an appearance to the delight Pawan Kumar of the Phogat family.

Interesting Facts about Geeta Phogat

  • Her father is an extremely strict coach. He takes care of his daughters’ diet, regime, and conduct very seriously. Geeta has time and again called him a taskmaster.
  • Initially, there were not any girls around. So, Geeta used to train with boys.
  • Geeta is serving as DSP in Haryana Police since October 2016.
  • The movie Dangal is based on the lives of the Phogat sisters. While Aamir Khan played the family patriarch, Fatima Sana Shaikh essayed Geeta’s role. The movie helped the family garner a lot of recognition. In an interview with The Times of India, Geeta expresses her feelings on becoming a household name only because of the movie.
Aamir-Khan-with-the-Phogat-family
Aamir Khan with the Phogat family
  • Geeta Phogat has participated in the television show Fear Factor. She performed really well on the show that tests physical as well as mental prowess. Unfortunately, she was eliminated halfway through.
  • Geeta’s net worth is around a staggering 24 crores!
  • She was awarded the Arjuna Award in the year 2012.
  • She loves to travel and relaxes by going for a good run.

Geeta Phogat’s Famous Quote

It does feel bad. Many fans who meet us don’t say ‘Arey aapne toh Commonwealth medal jeeta tha!’They say, ‘aapko Kapil Sharma ke show par dekha. It’s like, whatever we did before that doesn’t matter. Ajeeb lagta hai ki Dangal ke liye jaante hain par medal ke liye nahi. But then, I tell myself naam toh hua hai, chahe kisi bhi taraj hua ho. Itna pyaar mila hai logon ka, who sab accha hi hai. The movie and the media appearances, everything happened because of the performances in the sport.”

– Geeta Phogat

Geeta Phogat – The Wrestling Journey

Geeta Phogat had a truly golden start to her wrestling career. She won the gold in freestyle wrestling at the Commonwealth Wrestling Championship of 2009. She became the first Indian woman to bring home the Commonwealth Games wrestling gold in 2010. She achieved this amazing feat in the freestyle 55 kg. It also made her the celebrated golden girl of India.

Geeta wasn’t going to be satisfied with just a Commonwealth gold medal. She worked extremely hard to secure a podium finish at the Summer Olympics 2012. Unfortunately, she couldn’t win the repechage round. Even though she lost, she made history. Geeta is the first Indian grappler to qualify for the Olympics.

geeta phogat in action KreedOn
Wrestling champion Geeta Phogat in action

The World Wrestling Championships of 2012 were held in Canada. Geeta lost to Saori Yoshida of Japan in the second round. However, she won both the bouts in the repechage round to come home with the bronze medal. Geeta won another bronze at the Asian Wrestling Championships of 2012. She lost to Kanako Murata from Japan in the first round itself. Fortunately, she got another opportunity in the repechage round. She made the most of it to ensure a podium finish.

Also Read: Dangal Queen Geeta Phogat’s Daily Workout Routine Gives us Major Fitness Goals

At the Commonwealth Wrestling Championships of 2013, held in Johannesburg, South Africa, Geeta won a sparkling silver medal. She won a bronze medal in the freestyle wrestling 58 kg category at the Asian Wrestling Championship 2015. However, she couldn’t get a podium finish in the World Championships held the same year.

The Comeback

She made a comeback of sorts by clinching the gold at the Commonwealth Wrestling Championship of 2017.

In the last couple of years, Geeta has been slightly distracted. She lost her focus because of the blockbuster movie and then an injury. She was not selected for the Asian Games 2018 due to disciplinary issues. Geeta explained that she couldn’t attain the camp as she was undergoing treatment for her knee.

“I had severe pain in my knee since last month and I had come to Bangalore for treatment. I had written an email to the federation yesterday itself and had already booked the tickets. I will be joining the national camp on Saturday. We train diligently and do not want to miss training. If we have missed the national camp, there might be a serious reason for it,” Geeta told TOI.

“My comeback on the mat hasn’t been good. I am training hard to get back into the team. No sport is easy, if you spend time away it will be difficult to make a comeback,” she told The Indian Express.

Achievements

World Championships

YearPlaceEventMedal
2012Strathcona County55 kgBronze

 

Commonwealth Games

YearPlaceEventMedal
2010Delhi, India55 kgGold

 

Asian Championships

YearPlaceEventMedal
2012Gumi55 kgBronze
2015Doha, Qatar58 kgBronze

 

Commonwealth Championships

YearPlaceEventMedal
2009Jalandhar, India55 kgGold
2011Melbourne, Australia55 kgGold
2013Johannesburg, South Africa59 kgSilver

Every athlete has ups and downs. After a stunning start to her career, Geeta is going through a slump due to her injury. After getting a glimpse of her life story, one thing is for sure, she is not going to let one hindrance affect her. That is not how Mahavir Phogat has trained his daughters. We are sure that Geeta will bounce back soon. And when she does, dangal ho jaye ga!

Geeta Phogat Net Worth

According to FinApp, Geeta Phogat’s net worth stands at Rs. 24 crores, of which personal properties make Rs. 4 crores.

Social Media

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