She looked to avoid the seething verbal confrontation over permitting Pakistani players in India amid heightened diplomatic tensions but Rio Olympic bronze-medallist Sakshi Malik on Friday said athletes have the privilege to go up against fellow opponents anyplace in the world.
“Media has been, since morning, wrongly highlighting that I want Pakistani players should be invited to participate in various international sports events. I haven’t said anything like that,” Sakshi told reporters on the sidelines of the 11th anniversary of Garuda Mall.
Sakshi was responding to a query on Pakistani players being banned from taking an interest in any sort of event in India in the repercussions of Uri attacks and Surgical Attacks completed by the Indian government.
Clarifying further, Sakshi said she had only said that the players have the rights to play against any other player in the world, and not more than that.
“What I told was – players have all the rights – like we participate in the Games (Olympics) and we happen to play against other players, belonging to different countries. I haven’t advocated Pakistani players should be allowed to play in India,” she said.
“I love wrestling, and I would love to spend my money for helping kids who are in want of money to take up the sport or sustain their careers,” she said.
Sakshi further said money and winning a medal does not make a success story of an individual, but doing good things for the country does.
“If I do something good for the country – that is success for me, not getting money and winning medals – that is not success to me, at all,” Sakshi said.
Sakshi has been flooded with a great deal of prizes, which incorporate Rs 2.5 crore granted to her by Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar.
She said her life has changed a lot after winning bronze medal in Rio.
“My life has changed a lot. The whole country is beginning to know me, but with this my responsibilities have only increased,” she said.