For many decades, wrestling is called a sport meant for men to play. Women have forever been judged for pursuing a career in wrestling, constantly discouraged, and often disowned for going against the family’s will to pursue their ambitions. However, Rounak Gulia’s story isn’t all the same.
Rounak has had a keen interest in wrestling since she was a child. She pursued her higher education in B.Sc. from I.P. College. During her college years, one of her professors encouraged her to engage in wrestling as Rounak had a knack for it, the professor felt. Once Rounak set her foot within the wrestling circle, she felt rejuvenated. She decided to drop out of the course and pursue wrestling wholeheartedly. In 2016, Rounak began training in the arena of famous wrestler Guru Chandgiram.
In 2017, Rounak married Ankit Gulia – a wonderful man who gave Rounak his total support to pursue wrestling. His family was understanding of Rounak’s ambitions and encouraged her to follow her dream. In 2018, she won her first Bharat Kesari Award.
She became a target of many taunts from strangers, criticizing her for wearing short clothes after being married. Rounak says, “My family always supported me, but I received criticism from outsiders as I was married and I would have to wear small clothes for training.” She overcame all the taunts and criticism by advancing in the mastery of the sport.
Rounak Gulia further participated in National Wrestling Tournament and won a bronze medal in 2019, a silver medal in 2020, and a bronze medal in 2021.
“Wrestling is considered a male-dominated sport in India. I wasn’t alone on the journey; my mother always supported and motivated me to become a wrestler. I took up wrestling after marriage, and my family was always there to support and motivate me.“, said Rounak.
Rounak suffered multiple injuries after her tournaments but never gave up. She recovered, trained, and returned to the wrestling arena with more zeal and confidence.
Today, Rounak Gulia has won the Bharat Kesari title twice and won three medals at National Wrestling Tournament for three years straight in a row. She participated in a martial arts-based reality show – India’s Ultimate Warrior – and earned the title of Star Warrior in the first episode itself. Rounak Gulia is a strong-headed competitive woman who relishes a challenge.