Image Credits: .
While swimming in India carries limited prominence, young and talented swimmers never fail to amuse.
A side full of young talent, a greater story of triumph to be retold for generations and a tournament that potentially created legends. Indian swimming is at an awkward crossroad; with regular medals at the Asiad, the picture at the global events continue to struggle and disappoint. But with a potentially bright future presenting itself, the likes of Divya Satija keep the Indians in high hopes.
Divya has already made a name for herself in India and this is mainly due to her effort and strive to always exemplify the best version of herself – both on and off the pool. The 24-year-old splashes the pool with a swagger and impishness and often tends to test the time with a flash of free-spirited flair.
Specializes in butterfly events, Divya focuses on bettering timing by taking one step at a time and invariably getting past them. Her ascension from the basement prospect to the lofty penthouse of Indian swimming is an acute example of hard work and perseverance.
The Haryana native has already scaled the national record frontier when she managed to rewrite her own national record two years after she had first made that in the 50m butterfly event in 2019.
Not only that, the youngster has many achievements in her fold. She won a Gold and a Silver at the 2018 senior nationals followed by two gold medals (50m: *28.33 and 100m: 1.04.38s) butterfly event at the Senior National Championship held in Bhopal. She competed at 2019 Asian age group swimming Championships and won four medals Silver in 4 x 100m freestyle relay, 4 x 100m medley relay and 4 x 100m mixed medley relay and a Bronze in 50m butterfly with the timing of 28.27.
Her full repertoire was on display at the South Asian Games. A mesmeric swimmer, her tremendously quick feet enabled her to win a quadruple of gold medals – 50m and 100m butterfly events; along with 4 x 100m medley relay and 4 x 100m freestyle relay.
Divya’s undeniable talent is only set to grow as she racks up more medals, and uninterrupted training is crucial if she is to continue developing. There will be a lot of responsibility on her young shoulders but she should get plenty of opportunities to demonstrate her talent in the next few years.
What were your ambitions growing up and if it wasn’t for swimming, what career path would you have taken?
I worked in a corporate for 3-4 months but soon realised corporate was not my cup of tea and came back to swimming. In case, I was not swimming I would have settled in the corporate world.
By whom are you inspired a lot?
Every single person who is doing something extraordinary. I want to do everything in my life that excites me so I easily get inspired by people I meet.
Who are your top 3 favourite swimmers of all time?
Some say swimming for long hours gets you bored. How do you keep yourself motivated?
For me, life in water is way better than outside life. If we are training with a set of goals, we can’t get bored. And If I am in the water without any goal then also that is the time, I enjoy with myself.
What is your favourite swimming workout routine?
Short sprints/ underwater kick training.
Is there one moment in your career that brings a smile to your face?
Watching my National flag going up and hearing national anthem standing on the victory stand.
What’s your comfort food after a bad loss?
Happy sad or stressed, I end up eating chocolates.
And, a celebratory meal?
What does it feel like standing listening to the national anthem representing your country?
Going to describe it in one word “Goosebumps”
If you could choose a song that would most represent your life journey, what song would it be?
“Zor se zor laga” was the song I used to listen before I created Indian record and these were the lines that inspired me a lot:
“Kisi toh tute na essa record bana jitan di khatir jaan di bazii laga…”
“Hall of fame” was the song I used to listen to before the international events.
“Do it for your country
Do it for you name
'Cause there's gonna be a day
When you, standing in the hall of fame. And the world's gonna know your name”
I hear these two songs so many times that I made them so relatable.
How do you like to spend your time away from swimming, do you have any hobbies?
Still searching and trying out new things like planting.
We know that swimmers are always trying to improve. What are some things you are presently working on?
Currently I am working on improving my starts jumps and weak muscle’s rotator cuff. This year it’s about staying injury free, showing what I’m all about and trying to get into the poll as soon as possible.
What are your future plans as far as swimming goes? Do you hope to continue training through your school/college years and beyond?
I have finished my school and college. And during the lockdown, I have realised living without swimming is not at all easy for me.