Ravi Kumar Dahiya is an Indian wrestler from Haryana’s Nahri village in Sonipat district. The 23-year old wrestler rose to fame after he joined India's Olympic medal-winners club with a silver medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. He is the second Indian wrestler to win an Olympic silver after Sushil Kumar. He was among the 8 Indian wrestlers who represented India at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Prior to the Olympics, he had won a bronze medal at the 2019 World Wrestling Championships in the 57 kg weight category.
At the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, a lot of expectations was riding on Dahiya’s shoulders who came out of Delhi’s famed Chhatrasal Stadium, which has produced the likes of Olympic medalists Sushil Kumar, Yogeshwar Dutt, among others. Dahiya represented India along with Bajrang Punia (65kg), Deepak Punia (86kg), and Sumit Malik (125kg) in the men’s category, while Seema Bisla (50kg) Vinesh Phogat (53kg), Anshu Malik (57kg) and Sonam Malik (62kg) in women's category. Apart from Dahiya, Bajrang Punia won a bronze medal for India and Deepak Punia came close losing the bronze medal play-off at the Olympics.
Ravi Kumar Dahiya's early life
Hailing from India’s wrestling powerhouse Haryana, which has produced some of the finest wrestlers, it was natural for Dahiya to take up wrestling at a very young age. Born in 1997, he was trained, from the age of 10, by Satpal Singh at Chhatrasal Stadium in Delhi. His father, Rakesh Dahiya, is a farmer who worked on rented paddy fields. According to reports, Ravi Kumar Dahiya's father would travel daily from his village to the Chhatrasal Stadium to deliver milk and fruits, an important part of a wrestler’s diet, for over a decade.
Ravi Kumar Dahiya's career
Dahiya won the silver medal at the 2015 Junior World Wrestling Championship. In 2017, he had to deal with an injury that kept him out for more than a year. He made a comeback at the 2018 World U23 Wrestling Championship in Bucharest, where he won a silver medal. He came 5th in the 2019 Asian Wrestling Championship in Xi’an. In the 2019 Pro Wrestling League, he went unbeaten representing the title winners Haryana Hammers. He bagged gold at the 2020 and 2021 editions of the Asian Wrestling Championship.
Tokyo Olympics 2020
At the Games, Dahiya started his campaign with technical superiority in the first two fights. In the semi-final, Dahiya showed his mental strength by pinning down his opponent in the final minute of the match, after trailing the fight on points. ROC wrestler Zaur Uguev won the final 7-4 and Dahiya had to settle for silver.