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ਬਿਕਨੀ ਪਹਿਨਣ ਲਈ 'ਆਲੋਚਨਾ' ਦਾ ਸ਼ਿਕਾਰ ਬਣੀ ਪੰਜਾਬੀ ਬਾਡੀਬਿਲਡਰ ਨੇ ਜਿੱਤੇ ਤਿੰਨ ਸੋਨ-ਤਗਮੇ

Source: Supplied

ਮੈਲਬੌਰਨ ਦੀ ਵਸਨੀਕ ਇੱਕ ਭਾਰਤੀ-ਮੂਲ ਦੀ 25-ਸਾਲਾ ਆਸਟ੍ਰੇਲੀਅਨ ਬਾਡੀਬਿਲਡਰ ਨੇ ਆਪਣੇ ਉਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਆਲੋਚਕਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਜਵਾਬ ਦਿੱਤਾ ਹੈ ਜਿਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਨੇ ਕਥਿਤ ਤੌਰ 'ਤੇ ਉਸਨੂੰ ਬਿਕਨੀ ਪਹਿਨਣ ਲਈ 'ਭੱਦੀਆਂ' ਟਿੱਪਣੀਆਂ ਕੀਤੀਆਂ ਸਨ। ਅਮਨਪ੍ਰੀਤ ਕੌਰ ਨੇ ਮੈਲਬੌਰਨ ਵਿੱਚ ਆਯੋਜਿਤ ਦੋ ਵੱਖਰੇ ਬਾਡੀਬਿਲਡਿੰਗ ਮੁਕਾਬਲਿਆਂ ਵਿੱਚ ਜਿੱਤ ਦਰਜ ਕਰਦਿਆਂ ਲਗਾਤਾਰ ਤਿੰਨ ਸੋਨ-ਤਗਮੇ ਜਿੱਤੇ ਹਨ। ਉਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਆਪਣੀ ਜਿੱਤ ਦਾ ਸਿਹਰਾ ਆਪਣੇ ਪਰਿਵਾਰ ਅਤੇ ਖਾਸ ਤੌਰ ਤੇ ਆਪਣੀ ਮਾਂ ਵੱਲੋਂ ਦਿੱਤੀ ਹੱਲਾਸ਼ੇਰੀ ਨੂੰ ਦਿੱਤਾ ਹੈ। ਪੇਸ਼ ਹੈ ਇਸ ਬਾਰੇ ਉਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਨਾਲ਼ ਕੀਤੀ ਇਹ ਗੱਲਬਾਤ..

Indian-origin bodybuilder Amanpreet Kaur had to face many challenges before being crowned as a champion at two separate bodybuilding championships held at Melbourne.

25-year-old Ms Kaur won two gold medals in Bikini Novice and Bikini Open category at the Physical Cultural Australia (PCA) held at Clayton in Melbourne’s southeast on 29 September.

She also emerged champion in the Sports model category at the 2019 NABBA/WFF Victorian Bodybuilding Championship held on 13 October at Darebin Arts and Entertainment, Preston.

Ms Kaur, who only trained six months before hitting the victory stand, said her journey had been ‘tough’ and ‘very challenging’.

“These were the two toughest weeks of my whole life. I was literally slammed at both physical and mental levels,” she said.

“On one side, I was recovering from an injury and on the other side I was subjected to criticism for wearing a bikini at a public platform,” she said. 

Amanpreet Kaur
Amanpreet Kaur won two gold medals in Bikini Novice and Bikini Open category at the Physical Cultural Australia (PCA), Melbourne.
Photo Garry Phillips

A young migrant who overcame serious injuries after a life-threatening accident

Ms Kaur came to Australia as an international student in 2014 from Amritsar in the northern Indian state of Punjab.

She said that in 2015, during her stay in Adelaide, she met with a life-threatening accident.

“The accident severely affected my backbone and neck and I had to stick to bed for about one year,” she said.

It was very depressing as doctors told me that my body is so badly damaged that any heavy lifting may cause paralysis for the rest of my life.

Ms Kaur said that during her recovery she had to deal with weight gain.

“I was about 70 Kgs before I started some mild gym activities in 2016.  I was very shy and won’t talk to anyone in the gym for any personal activities. But that was something that was set to change for sure.”

Ms Kaur came to Melbourne about eight months ago and ever since been routinely practising under the guidance of her fitness instructors Kylie Ross and Kamaldip Singh Kahma. 

Amanpreet Kaur
Amanpreet Kaur with her mother (L) and while receiving the 1st prize at the PCA bodybuilding championship (R).
Photo Garry Phillips

The courage to face criticism

 Ms Kaur said that she faced backlash for wearing this outfit both personally and on social media.

“What will you do if you’re told that you’re a disgrace to the community? I was very depressed to deal with it as it was coming from my own community,” she said.

“These comments were made by people from my extended friend circle. It hurts a lot when it comes from your own people.” 

The social media comments that took issue with the young bodybuilder posting a picture of her as a victorious bikini model have since been removed from Facebook and Instagram.

“I am not on social media to justify anything and even I don’t want this hate to spread for any stupid reason. To shut them down, I’ve deleted all those comments,” she said.

“If you’re just here to make ugly comments and can’t cherish this moment then I am sorry, you are not welcome. Please leave my personal space and spread your hate somewhere else.”

SBS Punjabi was also provided with the screenshots of the messages that were allegedly sent to her along with a caption intend to ‘shame’ her for wearing a bikini.

Meanwhile, many social media users have supported and congratulated Ms Kaur, with one user commenting, “You looked great at the competition. Keep up the good work and just don’t worry about the negativity. We are all proud of you and your achievements.” 

Amanpreet Kaur
Amanpreet Kaur with her family at Melbourne.
Supplied

‘My family is my inspiration’

 Ms Kaur said that the ‘greatest’ force to her challenging yet ‘intriguing’ journey is her family.

“My mother told me that it is ok to be upset but not being afraid of what others will say. She said I am proud to be your mother because you have the courage to do what no other Indian Punjabi girl can do,” she said.  

“My brother, sister-in-law, sister and fiancée were my pillars. They said you’ve to put a brave face and embrace a nice smile to tell the haters that you don’t care. And that was my winning moment.”

 

Ms Kaur’s fitness coach Kamaldip Kahma who himself is a four-time national bodybuilding champion praised her commitment.

“When it comes to training and hard work she is one of our best at our Melbourne gym. She has the discipline and dedication that complements her ability to be the best among the rest,” said Mr Kahma.

“We wish her the very best for her future endeavours. I am sure she will make our community and Australia proud at the World Championships.” 

Amanpreet Kaur
Amanpreet Kaur cherishing her winning moments with her fitness coaches Kamaldip Singh Kahma and Kylie Ross.
Supplied
 

Ms Kaur said she is proud and happy to win back-to-back titles at the bodybuilding championships.

 “I did it. Yes, I was on stage in front of other people and my family in bikini and I’m so proud of myself that I made it,” she said. "It wasn’t easy to come this far. They’ll throw things at me about so-called culture and religion." 

 They would tell me that as an Indian Punjabi girl I should be ashamed of myself and I am a disgrace for my community.

Ms Kaur said that her family, mentors and bodybuilding coaches did a 'joint' effort to put her at this place.

“I am very thankful to my mentors and coaches Kylie Ross and Kamaljit Singh Kahma who helped me to go after this dream,” she added.

“My family is proud of me because I had guts to do something different that is totally unacceptable for our so-called society and stand out among all those girls.” 

Amanpreet Kaur
'Why just fit it when you are born to shine', says Amanpreet Kaur.
Supplied

Defying gender stereotype

Ms Kaur said she wants other girls from the community to defy gender stereotype.

“I always wanted to set an example for the girls from my community who want to do something for themselves but are too scared to do it for some obvious reasons,” she said.

“Ours is a male-dominated society and often there is a psyche that controls you. My advice would be to just get over it. You have only one life so live it to its fullest, and just don’t try to just fit in when you are born to shine.”

Ms Kaur will represent Australia at an international bodybuilding championship to be held in May 2020.

Listen to SBS Punjabi Monday to Friday at 9 pm. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.  

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