Imagine your grandparent or great-grandparent running laps, throwing shot puts and heavy discus! 87-year-old Daisy Victor has made the unthinkable possible by pursuing athletics despite being over 80. Her national and international sports career spans 70 years winning her over 414 medals, of which 345 are gold.
Encouraging young Daisy
Born in the town of Nazareth near Tamil Nadu’s Tirunelveli, Daisy grew up in Bellary where her father worked as a postmaster. He was the first person to encourage her interest in sports at the age of 8. Her second supporter was her husband, Victor Sundararajan. Before her marriage, she worked for Madras Telephones, and due to her talent had special permission to train for two hours each day. Despite bearing six children over a decade. Her training continued through her pregnancies and she returned to training within a month of her deliveries.
Over the course of her 7-decade career, Daisy participated in the veteran category of 20 international meets, 36 national meets and 59 district meets. She recently added a bronze medal to her collection after winning for shot put and discus throw, at the 2018 World Masters Athletics Championships. She currently practices shot put, discus and running.
Daisy was inspired to participate in the World Veteran Athletic Meet by the Flying Sikh, Milkha Singh, who founded the Veteran Athlete Association in 1980. Speaking to The Hindu, Daisy said, “In 1981, I went to New Zealand and secured the 7th rank. It was then that I started coaching under Victor Wilson. He coached me for international meets”. Daisy is grateful for the support of her parents and husband who allowed her to pursue her passion. She adds, “In all these years, I have not experienced any illnesses or aches, thanks to my genes. It’s only recently that I’m finding it a little difficult to climb down the stairs.”
Daisy has been felicitated by former PM, the late Indira Gandhi in 1981. She hopes to break her own triple jump record. People like Daisy as well as her father and husband, deserve praise for dreaming and supporting dreams of their daughters and wives. It is hoped Daisy continues to achieve her aspirations.
Image: Top Indi News