Sports India Exclusive: How finding Rs.50 lying on the ground inspired Sunil Kumar to Pro Panja glory!


The recently conducted PRO PANJA LEAGUE not just brought the sport of arm-wrestling to the forefront in India, but also gave the people plenty of household names, superstar athletes and champions to write home about and support in the league’s next outing. One such name is the league’s 100 kgs Heavyweight champion Sunil Kumar.

Kumar is an athlete from Punjab who quickly and rather easily made his way through the prelims at the Pro Panja League back in February. He later even defeated National 100 kilos silver medallist Sachin Deshwal in the final to become the 100 kilo champion of the PPL.

In a recent interview with PPL founder and Bollywood celebrity, Parvin Dabas and Lion Empire Club President, Arvinder Singh, Sunil shared his story. The story of how a boy from humble backgrounds in Punjab became the man, the invincible champion that he is today.

Sunil particularly shared a motivational story from his life about how he overcame the adverse thought of potentially committing suicide and how finding a 50 rupees note on the ground propelled him to become the PPL champion.

“I’ll tell you what before I again started competing in arm-wrestling before 2014, even I was suicidal. I was going through a very difficult phase in my personal life, and it crossed my mind that I should just commit suicide,” Sunil told Mr. Dabas in a candid chat about his life.

“People don’t often take this issue seriously. They always just brag how they could have convinced a person otherwise not to commit suicide, if only they had known. But the fact is someone who is suicidal like I was, does already think and overthink a lot. They already know the consequences of their actions,” Sunil stated.

The champion further dived into his personal life, “I felt like I was a burden on my family. I didn’t even have the money to refuel my vehicle. With only 200 bucks in my pocket, I went to my spiritual Guru. I gave him all the money I had and just poured my heart out. I confessed to him that I was suicidal….(*breaks down a little and sobs*)….He listened to all my worries and guided me, helped me out of that phase.”

“After a while, I again got back up on my feet and started earning slightly better. I was visiting my Guru again but realised I was again penniless and had no money in my pocket. I was worried about how will I even buy some offerings for him. I reached the place and as soon as I got off my bike. I saw a 50 rupee note on the ground and was elated that now I could at least buy him some offerings but my Guru refused and instead put a 10 rupee note in my pocket and asked me to rejoin the gym. Then I started training again, got my life back in order. That incident pushed me on the path to become a PRO PANJA LEAGUE Champion!” said Sunil.

You can check out the first of his three part interview down below:


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