Indian women’s hockey team captain Rani Rampal on Friday said she was grateful to her fans and hockey lovers who voted her World Athlete of the Year and it was a dream moment for her.
“I am really happy to be the first hockey player in history to get this award. What makes it more special is that I got a lot of support for this award, be it from the Hockey Federation or SAI. I am especially thankful to the Sports Minister Rijiju sir, as he personally tweeted about this, which made a lot of people aware of the voting. The award became even more special looking at the fact that I won it after public voting. This makes me feel even more blessed as it shows the fans' love for the sport. It is great recognition for me and all women athletes. This makes the win even more special for me,” Rani Rampal told Republic TV in an interview.
Rani, who recently led the Indian team to a 3-0 victory in New Zealand was announced as the Athlete of the Year by the World Games on January 30th after she became the most voted athlete on their online poll.
With this feat, she is now the first hockey player in history to get this award after winning the poll with over 199,400 votes.
The poll, that lasted for 20 days, had sports fans from across the world voting for their favourite athlete and had a total of over 705,600 votes have been cast during this time.