India's 2008 Beijing Olympics bronze medal-winning wrestler Sushil Kumar yesterday said the Padma Shri awarded to him on the occasion of Republic Day will serve as an inspiration to young wrestlers and boost the traditional sport of wrestling in the country.
"It is a great feeling to win the Padma Shri award and that too early in my life. It has been a dream run for me in the last three years since winning the bronze medal at the Beijing Games in 2008. In 2009, I got the Khel Ratna, in 2010 I became the World Champion and won gold at the Commonwealth Games and now the Padma Shri. It is a great honour for me," Sushil told IANS. Sushil feels that with the award also come responsibilities.
"With the Padma Shri there are a lot of responsibilities on my shoulders. There are lots of expectations from me and I have to deliver.
"This award will also boost the sport as it will motivate the young wrestlers to do well for the country."
Sushil dedicated the award to his parents and coach Satpal, also a Padma Shri. "I am grateful to my parents and coach without whom I would have never made it to the big stage. This award is for them as they have been the constant source of my energy."