In an age of swag, she presides with boundless simplicity. At a time where shenanigans are just about an everyday exercise in myriad spheres of life, she stands for uncomplicatedness. In an age where perhaps there might not be a day where the youngsters do not utter the phrase ‘cool,’ she’s sobering and straightforward. Moreover, during times where most rely on starry vibes to get them ahead, carrying tons of ‘air’ often for nothing, she’s grounded and humble. Just when you thought that being a sports star and famous could never go hand in hand, in steps Rani Rampal to remind us that is very much possible to be famous and yet, simple.

Rani Rampal strikes an impression despite not being someone who your star-obsessed, celebrity-driven mind may be curious to know. Yet, it is all the more important to know and not ignore a woman who’s catapulted India, once again, to the attention of the world through a sport the country’s had a long interest and bond with.

It was 2007 when Shah Rukh Khan inspired awe- something that could be likened to a regular day in the office for the great Khan- but surprisingly, not through his familiar romantic antics but through one of the roles of his lifetime: as the Hockey coach of Indian national women’s team, Kabeer Khan.

From thereon, you might agree, the country was doused in a newfound passion for a sport often forgotten, albeit one that has made heroes out of common individuals if not superstars out of successful athletes.

Yet, it’s both surprising and a bit underwhelming to note something.

That for all the heart that it had in the right place, pulling no punches in underlining the importance of the sport and the role it plays- as told on the ‘reel’- in uplifting a gang of determined girls and their stylish coach, Chak De India, has since remained a song often heard in cricket stadia. It’s not been the mantra that finds crazed fans stuffing Hockey fields and stadia around the country with.

Yet, when one comes across an athlete like India’s own Rani Rampal, you get a sense that there’s a lot of substance, once again, where one thought there may not have been much, i.e., the challenging sphere of Indian Hockey.

As the captain of the Indian women’s team, Rani Rampal has not only come a long way in making the country proud of her antics in a very rigorous sport but has done more. She has brought the country ever closer to the attention of even those nations where the sport is perhaps as obsessed over as cricket in Rampal’s own land.

Here’s what you ought to know about Rani Rampal and then, maybe it’ll be easier to know why she’s trending.

It was under the earnest and mild-mannered Rampal’s captaincy that the Indian women’s team qualified for what became just the third-Olympics games in the country’s history.

Rani Rampal award
source: India

And in the more recent past, if one were to rewind to the events in the last few hours of the recent past then one would be delighted to know that Rani has gone where most haven’t; venturing into a one-of-a-kind space!

So what is that?

Well, Rani Rampal has become the first-ever Hockey Player to have won the revered and unmistakably elite “World Games Athlete Of The Year” award.

For someone whose exploits and consistently impressive performances may not even excite many of her own countrymen, one wonders whether the audiences now will sit back and take notice of a truly captivating athlete; someone who’s doing a lot for a sport India’s had a long history with?

Here’s a quick snippet from the famous Hindustan Times on a story that’s taken the world of sports in India by quite a surprise:

“I dedicate this award to the entire hockey fraternity, my team, and my country. This success has only become possible with the love and support from hockey lovers, fans, my team, coaches, Hockey India, my government, friends from Bollywood, fellow sportspersons and my countrymen who have continuously voted for me,” said Rani, who was recently named among the Padma Shri awardees.

That told, Rani was also very thankful to the FIH for nominating her for this prestigious honor. Today, it goes without saying that Rampal is one of the best talents ever to have wielded a Hockey stick on the sport’s field.

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