The young skater added colors to her wings at the very first International participation at the 17th Asian Roller Skating Championships. Khushi holds the record to be the youngest Indian girl to win 3 gold medals at the International level (Cadet Group). Her current ranking is No.1 U- 13 Asian ranking & National ranking in U- 16 is No.2. Khushi is only 12 years old and aspires to bag a gold medal in the Under 16 category in the 2017 Nationals.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I get very anxious and nervous before competitions, and this sometimes leads to not being able to give my best performance. I would like to work on developing a calm and mature mindset so that I can give my best.
Initial hurdles you faced?
Initially it was hard balancing both school and skating since I wanted to excel in both. But with skating my concentration and focus increased which helped me in my studies. Secondly I had to eat some nutritious food which I hated but now I am ok with that.
Perks of being an athlete
Being an athlete gives you more self-confidence and focus. It helps a person become a more goal oriented and determined. The ability to work hard becomes default. Most importantly, it teaches you how to deal with your failures.
Your first match for India?
I was one of youngest members of team India and was excited to be in China for the championship in 2016. However, as I reached the championship venue, I was overwhelmed by the place, the people and the participants. Most importantly, I started feeling the pressure to be performing for team India. When the lots were drawn, I was to perform first, I was very nervous as I prepared to get on the skating rink. But as I began my performance, nothing else mattered. I focused on my techniques and at the end went on to win three Gold medals for my country in the cadet group.
What are your secret skills?
I am good with words and love to pen down my thoughts essays, articles and poetry which are regularly published in our school magazine.
What is your practice routine like?
On a typical day. I wake up at 5 AM take my nutrition, then go for my physical training from 6 to 7. Then I get ready and go to school from 7.30 AM to 2 PM. Normal skating practice session are from 4 PM to 8PM which gets stretched from 3 PM to 8 PM during competition times. From 8.15 PM to 9 PM, I go to the gym for my physique.
What’s the first thing you do when you get home from tour?
After coming from tournament, I would first take a nap and then go back to my studies. Because there would be so many projects and class works that have to be submitted.
If you could wake up tomorrow in the body of another athlete, who would it be?
It would be Tanja Romano she is one of the top artistic skaters worldwide. I would love to be able to experience her passion for skating, her focus and precision and be able to skate as gracefully and confidently as her.
One habit that you want to break or you have broken?
During my early skating days, I used to hate getting up early but now I am an early riser and arrive fresh for the training sessions.
What drives you to go for training every day?
I am very passionate about skating and it is this passion that gives me the energy and drive to work hard on my skating every day. Through skating I feel myself and it has now become an integral part of who I am today. I can’t imagine my life without skating. If I don’t go for skating, I become very restless.
Any rituals you follow?
I bow down and touch the skating rink floor before entering the rink. I also do deep breathing prior to my performance this helps me to be calm and stay focused on my routine.
One match that you are proud of
I won 3 Gold medals, during my first ever International participation, at the 17th Asian Roller Skating Championships.
Seeing India’s national flag go up at the top, along with our national anthem being played – gave me a high I had never experienced before.
What does it mean to you to represent India?
Honor, pride, patriotism, happiness, responsibility medley of emotions.
Being part of the Indian contingent for the Asian Championship gave me goose bumps. It was a great honor and I felt that I had a tremendous responsibility to do my best for our country.
Being part of the team, along with other International level skaters whom I idolized growing up was a dream come true.
The team became one big family. Representing India has become one of my most cherished moments and hope to get more such opportunities to make my country proud.
Area of your game you need to improve?
Skating needs constant work, precision and innovation. You constantly set higher goals to improve yourself. Currently, I need to work on my jumps and also on my execution and delivery.
Who do you want to be the flag bearer for India in ‘TOKYO OLYMPICS 2020’?
P.V. Sindhu. She totally deserves this as she has made India proud. She has attained huge success, by overcoming the hurdles at such a young age. She is an inspiration to millions.
Best sports movie ever?
Dangal. It truly inspires sports people to work and achieve their goals despite of the many challenges and norms. Passion always wins. Full-out & Ice Princess are also some of the other sports movies that have inspired me. They are movies which pull you out during your low times cause if these successful sportspeople went through a troubled phase, it is ok for you as well.
Your short and long term goals
I am only 12 years old and would like to get a gold medal in the under 16 category in 2017 Nationals. It would be an honour to be selected for team India for the Asian Championship for 2018 in the 12-19 age group.
Your bucket list?
1) To win a world medal
2) To be appreciated by the best athletes in the world
3) Interview Virat Kohli
4) To sit in the deadliest roller coaster ride
What is the scariest experience you have ever had?
It was not particularly scary but it did take my breath away! It happened about a month before the Asian championship selection. I had a bad fall and got a hairline fracture in the thumb. The doctor informed us that I could not skate for at least three weeks . I could not think of missing my first chance to represent India. Luckily the selection was postponed!!
“I would love fly in the air and swish through the clouds
without the annoying sound of horns and traffic.”
Your most Embarrassing moment
In a training camp, a new element was being taught and I tried it a 100 times but was not able to get it. I burst out into tears in front of all the students, parents and coaches. It was embarrassing.
One super power you wish you had, how would you use it?
I really wish I could fly and have a look over the whole world from above. I would love fly in the air and swish through the clouds without the annoying sound of horns and traffic.
Greatest Indian athlete of all time?
I feel one of the greatest Indian sportsperson is Sachin Tendulkar because he is a very cool minded and hardworking person and has rewritten Indian sports history. My favourite athlete is Virat Kohli because he is a very hardworking and aggressive player.
Your biggest inspiration
My parents and my brother are my biggest inspirations. They never lose hope on me and inspire me to always give my best. My mother keeps on supporting me through all odds of life and keeps giving me the courage to overcome all hurdles. My father always lightens up the mood when I am tensed and nervous and prepares to overcome all difficult situations. My brother is always there for me no matter what. I also want to thank Ashna didi and Mishri didi ( my seniors and mentors) for guiding me and making me who I am today.