Sushil Kumar is an Indian wrestler and a two-time Olympic medal winner. He is known for his phenomenal performance at various international wrestling events. He is also known for carrying the Indian flag at the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics. On 23 May 2021, Sushil Kumar was arrested for his alleged involvement in the murder of Sagar Dhankar, a 23-year-old wrestler in Delhi.
Sushil Kumar was born on Thursday, 26 May 1983 (age 38 years; as of 2021) in Najafgarh, Delhi. His zodiac sign is Gemini. Sushil got inspired by his father and his cousin, Sandeep, and started taking training for pehlwani wrestling at the akhada (wrestling school) in the Chhatrasal Stadium at the age of 14. He completed his graduation and post-graduation from Noida College of Physical Education, Dadri. Sushil Kumar joined the Chhatrasal Stadium’s akhada at the age of 14 to pursue his wrestling training. He was trained by the trainers and wrestlers Yashvir and Ramphal. Later, he began his training under the guidance of Arjuna awardee Satpal Singh a.k.a. Guru Satpal.
Height (approx.): 5′ 5½”
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Black
Weight (approx.): 85 kgs
Body Measurements (approx.): 44-34-16
Family & Caste
Parents & Siblings
Sushil Kumar’s father’s name is Diwan Singh. His father is a former wrestler and a driver in MTNL Delhi. Sushil Kumar’s mother’s name is Kamla Devi.
Wife & Children
In 2011, Sushil Kumar got married to his coach, Satpal Singh’s daughter, Savi Kumar. Together the couple has two sons, Suvarn and Suveer.
Sushil Kumar switched to freestyle wrestling and made his debut with the World Cadet Games in 1998 and won a gold medal in his weight category. He then won a gold medal at the Asian Junior Wrestling Championship in 2000. In 2003, Sushil Kumar moved out of the junior league and went to the Asian Wrestling Championships, where he won a bronze medal. Kumar won a gold medal at the Commonwealth Wrestling Championship, and he came fourth at the 2003 World Championships. Later, in 2005 and 2007, he won gold medals at the Commonwealth Wrestling Championship. In 2008, Sushil Kumar won a bronze medal for India at the Olympic Games in Beijing. In 2012, he won a silver medal during the Summer Olympics in London and became the first person to win two Olympic medals for Independent India.
Sushil Kumar was offered a DSP rank in the Haryana police department in 2008. Later, he joined the Indian Railways as the Chief Ticketing Inspector. He was promoted to Assistant Commercial Manager in 2008 after his performance in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. On 25 May 2021, after the murder incident of Sagar Dhankar, Sushil Kumar was suspended from his post in the Indian Railways.
2008 Beijing Olympics
During the first round of the 66 kg freestyle wrestling event, Sushil Kumar lost the match to Ukrainian wrestler, Andriy Stadnik. Later, in repechage, he defeated freestyle wrestling coach, Doug Schwab in the first round, and then he defeated Albert Batyov in the second round and qualified for the main event. He defeated freestyle wrestler, Leonid Spiridonov from Kazakhstan with a score of 3:1 and won the bronze medal for India.
World Wrestling Championships, Moscow (2010)
Sushil Kumar became the first Indian to win a world title in wrestling when he defeated the local favorite of Moscow, Alan Gogaev of Russia with 3-1 in the final match of the 66 kg category at the World Wrestling Championships in 2010.
2012 London Olympics
Sushil Kumar was the Olympic flag-bearer for India during the opening ceremony. He won a silver medal in the wrestling event after he lost the final to Japanese wrestler, Tatsuhiro Yonemitsu.
2014 Commonwealth Games, Glasgow
Kumar won a gold medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow by defeating Qamar Abbas in the 74 kg event. He won the match in 107 seconds by fall.
2018 Commonwealth Games, Australia
Sushil Kumar won a gold medal in the 74 kg weight category by beating South Africa’s Johannes Botha. The match lasted only for 80 seconds.
- Gold medal in 60 kg weight category at London Commonwealth Championship in 2003
- Bronze medal in 60 kg weight category at New Delhi Asian Championship in 2003
- Gold medal in 66 kg weight category at Cape Town Commonwealth Championship in 2005
- Gold medal in 66 kg weight category at London Commonwealth Championship in 2007
- Silver medal in 66 kg weight category at Kyrgyzstan Asian Championship in 2007
- Bronze medal in 66 kg weight category at Beijing Olympics in 2008
- Bronze medal in 66 kg weight category at Jeju Island Asian Championship in 2008
- Gold medal in 66 kg weight category at Jalander Commonwealth Championship in 2009
- Gold medal in 66 kg weight category at New Delhi Asian Championship in 2010
- Gold medal in 66 kg weight category at Moscow World Championship in 2010
- Gold medal in 66 kg weight category at Delhi Commonwealth Games in 2010
- Silver medal in 66 kg weight category at London Summer Olympics in 2012
- Gold medal in 73 kg weight category at Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in 2018
For Bronze Medal at 2008 Beijing Olympics
- Rs. 5.5 million cash award and promotion to Assistant Commercial Manager in Indian Railways by Railway Ministry
- Rs. 5 million cash award by the Delhi Government
- Rs. 2.5 million cash award from the Haryana government
- Rs. 2.5 million cash award from the Steel Ministry of India
- A job offer as the DSP in the Haryana police department
- Rs. 1 million cash award from the Maharashtra State Government and MTNL each
For Gold Medal at 2010 World Wrestling Championship
- Rs. 1 million cash award from Indian Railways and an out-of-turn promotion from Assistant Commercial Manager
- Rs. 1 million cash award from Sports Authority of India
- Rs. 1 million cash award from the Delhi Government
For Silver Medal at 2012 London Olympics
- Rs. 20 million cash award from the Delhi Government
- Rs. 15 million cash award from the Haryana Government
- Rs. 7.5 million cash reward from the Indian Railway
- Haryana Government gifted Sushil Kumar a piece of land in Sonipat to build a wrestling academy
- Arjuna Award in 2005
- Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award in 2008
- Padma Shri in 2011
- In 2012, Chhatrasal stadium was India’s premium center for those who were willing to learn wrestling and become a wrestler for the country. However, by the end of 2012, Sushil Kumar and Yogeshwar Dutt had a public fallout, and Dutt decided to leave the wrestling school and start his own. Many coaches also left Chhatrasal and joined Dutt’s new school. By 2015, many top wrestlers of the country left the wrestling academy, including Bajrang Punia. Hindustan Times
- In 2015, Sushil Kumar was involved in a controversy with the Mumbai wrestler Narsingh Yadav, who won the quota to participate in the Rio Olympics. On the other hand, Sushil Kumar was also preparing for Rio, and he asked for a selection trial, but the Wrestling Federation of India and Delhi High Court dismissed his plea. Later, Yadav was tested positive for steroids, but he alleged that his food was laced by a junior wrestler from Chhatrasal during a national camp in Sonepat. Yadav filed an FIR against him, and CBI was involved in the case too. However, in 2019, the CBI dismissed the sabotage theory presented by Yadav. Hindustan Times
- In 2017, another international wrestler, Parveen Rana, alleged that Sushil Kumar had beaten him and his brother after the national selection trials. Hindustan Times
- On 4 May 2021, a former junior national champion and a wrestler of India’s senior national camp, Sagar Dhankar, was beaten and murdered in a clash between two groups outside Delhi’s Chhatrasal Stadium. In a further investigation by the police, it was found that Sagar was asked to vacate his rented apartment owned by Sushil Kumar. Later, a video surfaced in which Sushil Kumar and his friends were seen beating Dhankad within the stadium’s premises. An FIR was filed against Sushil Kumar and five other people involved in the murder. After being on the run for more than 15 days, Sushil Kumar and co-accused Ajay were arrested from the outer Mundka area in Delhi. Hindustan Times
- White Makhan (butter)
- In 2012, Sushil Kumar was approached by a liquor brand, and they offered him Rs. 50 lakh to be a part of their ad campaign. However, Sushil Kumar was never involved in alcohol consumption and decided to turn down the offer as he believed that it would send a wrong message among the youth of the country. Hindustan Times
- Sushil Kumar is a pure vegetarian and he has campaigned for PETA’s Go Vegetarian campaign in the past.
- During his training days, Sushil Kumar used to live in Chatrasaal Stadium, and he shared his room with twenty fellow trainee wrestlers.
- Sushil Kumar runs a charity called Sushil 4 Sports, which helps in providing training and other equipment to aspiring athletes from all sports fields.
- Sushil Kumar was voted as ‘The Most Popular Athlete’ during the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
- In 2015, Kumar co-judged the reality TV show MTV Roadies, along with Neha Dhupia, Ranvijay Singh, and Karan Kundra.
- During an interview, Sushil Kumar talked about his fitness regime and his diet plan. He revealed that he consumes a lot of white butter and milk in his regular diet.