Image Credits: FISTO STAFF
Love of family, spirit of giving tops athletes' lists.
Will Indian athletes be training or resting this Christmas Day? We asked some of India’s young athletes.
Christmas. There is no denying that it is a very special time of the year; some do not see the fuss, but it is safe to say that a great number love the festivities. Surrounded by family, delicious food, and if it is your thing—presents, it is not every day such a great combination arises.
Everyone remembers Christmas — many have fond memories of family traditions from an early age. Fisto Sports talked to a number of young tattles who shared their fondest memory of the day and plans this year.
Christmas for me has always been about joy, faith and hope. This year, it is the joy of being able to stay healthy and train well. The faith that the world will heal from this pandemic soon and the hope that Christmas will continue to bring happiness this year.
I will probably be training during this year's Christmas but will make time to pray to Jesus and thank him for keeping me and my family healthy protecting me all this time. I will pray for a great health for everyone around the world.
Jeremy Lalrinnunga, India’s first Youth Olympics gold medallist.
Noah Nirmal Tom
Christmas is the season of happiness and joy. When the angels first met the shepherds, the message was joy to the world, so, it is the greatest joyful season. In this pandemic time, we can't actually celebrate Christmas but it is the joy that filling my heart because God came to earth to save his people from sin. So, in this pandemic period we are staying in our camp and celebrating this joy and our preparation will go on.
Noah Nirmal Tom, one of the top athletes of India who competes in 400m and in 4 x 400m relay categories.
Growing up, Christmas was that time of the year that I always looked forward to. Sadly, this year, I won't be able to see my family but I am lucky enough to spend my Christmas with my swimming family. Here at Thanyapura, we have a tradition to challenge ourselves with a hard Christmas set before we enjoy a big meal together. I will be swimming a 10 km set on Christmas eve and later enjoy a meal cooked by our coach with the whole team.
Annie Jain is a swimmer who won two gold medals for India at the South Asian Games, Nepal, 2019 and currently studying in UWC Thailand International School, Phuket, Thailand.
Ann Mary Zachariah
I don't have a specific memory of Christmas, because most of the time, I used to stay in hostel but very few years with my family.
I remember when we were young, we used to decorate our Christmas tree with white cotton, stars and candies. Early in the morning we would get dressed and get ready for Church.
After mass, our relatives will join with us to celebrate the day, then when the band and carol people come, me and my sister's cousins will join them. Those were my best Christmas memories.
And this year, I am far away from my family, in the USA at Kansas. So, I have my relative over here at Dallas and I am planning to go there and celebrate with them.
Ann Mary Zachariah, the 16-year-old 6-2 forward was the recipient of the Coaches award at the second NBA Academy India Women's Camp. Ann is currently committed for the final couple of years of high school to Life Prep Academy in Wichita, Kansas.
Even though, I don't celebrate it, Christmas makes me happy. First of all, it's a season of holiday, so in my place they used to give candy to all the children and I enjoyed it very much. Another thing was the tradition of Catholics where they had prayers till midnight; Christmas will always be a special day for me.
Aniket Patel from Silver Oak College of Engineering and Technology, Ahmedabad, is the world No.3 and India’s No.2 soft tennis player in U-18 category right now.
My favourite memory on Christmas Day is going out for dinner with my family.
It was a chilly evening. We enjoyed some amazing dinner and there was an amazing live performance going on in the background. Loved everything about that night; from the ambiance to the decor to the food, it was one of my favourite family dinners.
Riya Habbu, a mouth-watering badminton talent who currently finds herself ranked India’s No.1 in the Girls U-17 category.
Growing up, Christmas was a time of the year that I always looked forward to as a child. It the greatest time of the year and for me, Christmas means family time because spending time with your family is not something you get to do every day.
Merry Christmas to those who are celebrating. Enjoy your time with your family and friends.
Jacob Vanlaltluanga is a young weightlifter from Mizoram who won a gold medal in Youth Commonwealth Championship 2019, Samoa, in 61kg category. He is a student of the Army Institute, Boys Sports Company, Pune.
I love to celebrate Christmas. I remember that I went to Chennai for sub-junior school nationals and the day I had competition was Christmas. I was only 11 at that time and I was very nervous that time, but my competition went very well and we also celebrated the joy of having good competition and celebrated Christmas day. I enjoyed a lot. And that Christmas became a very memorable one for me.
Rashika Chauhan is a 20-year-old artistic gymnast from Haryana, the past year has seen a steady progression of steps which she hopes will lead to reaching her ultimate goal.
Christmas is a day which brings back a thousand flashbacks from my childhood. The best thing about Christmas for me used to be the party organised at my school. We started decorating our classrooms a week before and then on that day, we used to dance all-day long to the DJ till our feet got tired, ate yummy food and enjoyed to the fullest. Then in the evening, I used to visit the local church with my family, light candles and enjoy the Christmas vibes and joy there.
At home, my mom bought me a small Christmas tree and decorating it myself felt like an accomplishment in itself.
I really wish to go back in time thinking about these magical moments.
Ena Arora, a talented young fencer from SASM College, Patiala, who is also an All-India Inter-University bronze medallist in 2020 and participated in Asian Games, World Cup and Asian Championships.
For me, Christmas has always been about family and togetherness. It is the season for giving, caring, loving, kindness, and sharing.
Growing up, I loved all things Christmas, whether I am at home celebrating it with my family or whether I am with my football family playing somewhere.
My favourite Christmas memory will always be me coming home from Goa and surprising my parents when I told them that I wouldn’t be home for Christmas with them.
Johnson Mathews from Thakur College, Mumbai, is currently playing for the Hero ISL club Hyderabad FC reserves.
I plan on celebrating Christmas this year with my family at home by cooking a wonderful meal and saying our prayers together at home. Christmas is a very special festival to us and i feel very fortunate to be spending it with my family. I wish everyone a very happy Christmas and a happy new year in advance!
The 17-year old Crasto, who is one of India’s top-ranked junior doubles players and has represented the country at the World Junior Badminton Championships.