Movies on the lives of these athletes will inspire millions.
Sports biopics are a recipe for success. Several sportspersons have inspiring journeys that can be ideal fodder for a perfect movie script. Indian cinema has time and again produced biopics that have been both critically and commercially successful. Movies like ‘Mary Kom,’ ‘Dangal’ and ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ have left an impression and have inspired audiences. Biopics on hockey legend Dhyan Chand and Olympic gold medallst Abhinav Bindra are also being made.
Here are five Indian sportspersons who deserve their own biopic.
5. PR Sreejesh
Veteran Indian goalkeeper PR Sreejesh’s career in field hockey has been nothing short of inspiring. The three-time Olympian stood like a brick wall in goal for India at the Tokyo Olympics, to help them bag a bronze medal.
But, his journey has not been easy. In the 2006 South Asian Games final, he conceded an easy goal against Pakistan in the and the whole nation criticized him. He was also part of the Indian squad that failed to win a single game at the 2012 London Olympics. From multiple failures to being the hero of the Tokyo Olympics, Sreejesh deserves a biopic on this incredible journey.
4. Dhanraj Pillai
Dhanraj Pillai is easily one of the best forwards in the history of hockey. Coming from a humble background, Dhanraj has proved that sheer determination and hard work can help one achieve his desire. Infact, he mentioned that he used to piece together broken hockey to make his own hockey stick since he couldn’t afford one. In his career spanning over 15 years, Pillai won many national and international awards for his brilliant performances.
Dhanraj Pillai is the only Indian to have played at three Olympics, three World Cups and four Asian Games. His inspiring journey from poverty to stardom can provide fodder for a perfect biopic.
3. Devendra Jhajharia
Devendra Jhajaria is the only Indian with two Paralympics gold medals to his name. The javelin thrower won his first gold in 2004 at Athens and his second in 2016. He holds the world record in men’s para-javelin throw (62.15m). He is also the recipient of the Padma Shri, becoming the first para-athlete to get bestowed with the honour.
What makes it more impressive and emotive is that Jhajaria has achieved all this with just one arm. From losing his arm in an accident to dominating the world, the athlete deserves a biopic on his life.
2. PT Usha
Dubbed the ‘queen of Indian track and field,’ PT Usha dominated the Asian stage in the 1980s and won four Asian Games gold medals, alongside several more at the Asian Athletics Championships. She also came agonizingly close to winning a bronze medal at the 1984 Olympics.
From a poverty-ridden background, PT Usha managed to pave her way to achieving more than 100 medals on the international stage. Her life deserves an inspirational biopic.
1. Leander Paes
Leander Paes is arguably one of the best-ever Indian tennis players. Paes has been a flag-bearer for India on the international tennis stage for several years in a row. In a European-dominated sport, making a mark for an Indian was never easy. But, he achieved the impossible, when he beat several big names to clinch the bronze medal at the 1996 Olympics.
He then went on to win multiple Grand Slams and even held the World No. 1 rank in men’s doubles with partner Mahesh Bhupathi. His life is worthy of a biopic.