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Aman Sehrawat: A Decade From Homesickness To Paris - Chhatrasal Cub Tightens Claws For Olympic Debut

Who is Aman Sehrawat? He's India's lone hope in men's wrestling at the Paris Olympics 2024. When all the seasoned veterans fell short of expectations... in securing the Olympic quota, this 20-year-old didn't hesitate to shoulder the responsibility. This boy from India's Wrestling Olympians' factory - Chhatrasal Stadium, at such a young age, has seen life in ways many of us can't even imagine

Indian wrestler Aman Sehrawat file photo, United World Wrestling
Aman Sehrawat is India's first Under-23 World Wrestling Championships gold medallist. Photo: File/United World Wrestling

In 2014, a ten-year-old boy from Haryana walked into Chhatrasal Stadium, tightly holding his father's fingers, tears rolling down his face. The boy missed his family every day, crying on call as he longed to go back home. Through his tears, he pushed forward. Today, that same boy stands as India's only hope in men's wrestling at the Paris Olympic Games 2024. Yes, he is none other than Aman Sehrawat. (More Sports News)

Sehrawat is now 20, he has achieved a lot including a berth to the Paris Olympic Games 2024 as the sole male member of the Indian wrestling contingent for the Summer Games. The tears have now turned into fire. His smile, however, holds a depth beyond his tears. It is the smile of a young man who had to go through the loss of both parents before his 11th birthday.

His father, who dropped him at the stadium with promises to return, left Aman with dreams yet unfulfilled. Now, Aman finds family in two places — his village and Chhatrasal Stadium. Among his friends, coach, and seniors, he's not just a wrestler, but he is their family. Despite the hardships, Aman never let it affect his game.

Just like Aman's performance, his circle of friends has been consistent. From the day he arrived at Chhatrasal Stadium, he has been under the guidance of his coach, Dronacharya awardee Lalit Kumar. His roommate, Sagar, who is also a wrestler and serves in the Indian Air Force, has been everything to him — a friend, brother, and even a parental figure.

Sagar played a crucial role in helping Aman adjust to life at the stadium from the very beginning, providing steadfast support and guidance.

Aman's room in Chhatrasal Stadium tells its own story. Photos of gold medals, with inspirational posters interspersed in between, lined the walls and a Paris ticket cut out hung with pride. It's nothing less than a vision board, reflecting the journey of a boy who became a national champion at 18, training alongside seniors since his teenage years and now defeating them.

A glimpse into Aman Sehrawat's room at Chhatrasal Stadium, showcasing the personal touches that support his journey as a dedicated wrestler.

He has dominated every age group, from winning medals at the world cadets and junior events to striking gold at the Under-23 World Championships.

His rise has been steady but swift. He stepped into senior wrestling events only last year, outshining seasoned competitors like his fellow stadium partner, Ravi Dahiya. It's a journey that's just beginning, yet it's already worth talking about.

When the big names failed to secure Olympic quotas in men's wrestling, the youngest, who recently won a bronze at the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games, clinched it.

Competing in the 57kg weight class, he secured an Olympic quota during the World Qualifiers in Istanbul and saved India from the embarrassment of having no representation in the men's category at the Summer Games.

Pictures of Olympic gold medal adorn the walls of Aman Sehrawat's room at Chhatrasal Stadium, alongside his proudly pinned Olympic berth ticket.

"When I get on the mat, I just focus on winning, giving my all no matter who I'm up against," Aman said. Despite his friendly smile, he brings an very aggressive game. He pins his opponents down as if he's just nailing another medal picture to his room wall.

Aman's attacks may not be simple, but his life definitely is. His routine starts at 4 am, a habit he's kept since he was 10. Training, workouts, sparring. Safe to say that his days are filled with intense activity. But to unwind, he has one simple pleasure: watching "Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah." It's his therapy, his hobby, his only pastime.

Wrestling started for Aman in the mud grounds of dangals when he was very young. Now, it's taken him to the Olympics. Soon, he'll represent India at the Paris Games. His dreams are big, and he's working hard because it's not just his dream.

It's a dream shared by every wrestler at Chhatrasal. Even his uncle, who never played professional wrestling, shares in this dream. They're all Olympic aspirants there, following in the footsteps of Sushil Kumar, or as they fondly call him, "Sushil Pehalwan Ji."