Mangaluru: 77- year- old Olga D’Costa has proven that age is just a number by representing India and winning a bronze medal in the above 75 years category at the World Badminton Championship held in Spain.
Hailing from Madhya Pradesh D’Costa was always passionate about sport right from College time. Speaking to NewsKarnataka she said, “I was part of hockey and even used to do swimming during that time. I represented Jabalpur University and Madhya Pradesh State. I continued to play after my marriage, and in 1984, I won the Ladies Singles and Ladies Doubles titles in the above 35 category at the Chandrapur National.”
She went on to say that she stopped playing competitive badminton gradually but played for various clubs. “After over two years of marriage, I along with my husband moved to Bengaluru from Mumbai. I got a club membership in Bengaluru and was able to continue with my passion and able to maintain my health as well,” she said.
When asked about how she felt receiving a medal D’Costa said that, “It gives me great pleasure to have won a bronze medal for India. I felt proud, standing at the victory stand, holding the Indian flag. I am also proud to be the first woman from India in the above 75 age category to win a medal in the “Singles” event at Spain. It is sad to know that very few ladies didn’t continue playing at this age in India.”
D’Costa said that responses from the family and friends have been tremendous. “I am surprised to see so many people are ringing up and congratulating me. Everyone stresses on my age and winning a medal makes them happy. It keeps me happy,” she added.
She went on to say that, “I stopped playing badminton during my 60s when my husband fell ill and for 15 years, I wasn’t able to play. After he passed away both my son, daughter and their families encouraged me to get back to badminton again to keep me occupied. Then I began playing and I train three to four times per week. I do so carefully to avoid the possibility of getting any injury.”
Previously, D’Costa has represented India in Kochi in 2017, Poland in 2019 and now in Spain. She also worked as a professor at Acharya Institute of Management and Sciences for 15 years.
She further explained that when one plays, one must enjoy the game. “Most women believe that sport is only for youngsters as they get older, which is not the truth. Never give up if you have talent and are good at it. When you take a break, you will need some time to pick up from where you left. You should be always hungry for success and willing to put in hard work to get it. Finally, you should be a humble person.”