Swapna Barman, a 21-year old Indian athlete has won gold in the 2018 Asian Games and Indians glow with pride, yet again.

Barman is the first Indian to win gold in the Asian games and put India on the global map. She scored an aggregate of 6026 points across the span of seven events of 100 meters hurdles, high jump, shot put, 200 meters, long jump, javelin throw, 800 meters, collectively known as heptathlon. However, her road to glory was rough and sorely.

Imagine having six toes on each foot and wearing a pair of shoes that can only fit five. Along with this discomfort and pain add a toothache, back, ankle, knee and hamstring injuries. Now imagine performing in an athletic event with all of these disadvantages where you’d represent your country and all of your family’s hopes and the faith that has kept you going through four years’ of practice. Would you feel weak and feel like you should give up like a quitter or would you find the inner strength and motivation to pull it off and not give up and not be a quitter?

Well, Swapna Barman found that inner strength went through this and won gold.

Along with these unfortunate turn of events, life wasn’t always easy for Swapna. She had a hard time obtaining sponsors and special shoes that would fit her special(what some would consider abnormal) feet. Her father was a rickshaw driver and her mother worked on a tea farm. Swapna was recognized and received a scholarship in 2016.

Also Read: India on a brilliant start as #AsianGames2018 commences; Twitter is all praise!

She has received appreciation from all over India and the country is incredibly proud of her on winning, in spite of her hardships. Probably this is a wake-up call for the Sports Authority of India to provide athletes like Swapna, the resources that they need. As they put so much on the line and should be rewarded substantially to sustain and recognize value. Athletes like her who trust their talent and won’t back down, are going to do it anyways without the authority’s support.

Although Indians have acknowledged Swapna’s victory through appreciative tweets: