The 23-year-old 100m record-holder and two Asian Games silver medal holder, sprinter Dutee Chand is the first Indian sportswoman to admit to being in a same-sex relationship! Dutee is well known in the sports community for being the torchbearer of rights for female athletes in track and field events, she successfully moved the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne against the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) rules on hyperandrogenism, which had limitations on the testosterone levels of women athletes in track and field events.
“I have found someone who is my soulmate. I believe everyone should have the freedom to be with whoever they decide they want to be with. I have always supported the rights of those who want to be in a same-sex relationship. It is an individual person’s choice. Currently, my focus is on the World Championships and the Olympic Games but in the future I would like to settle down with her,” Dutee said to a leading newspaper.
Dutee was born in Chaka Gopalpur, a village of weavers in Odisha’s Jajpur district and admitted that the Supreme Court's decision to decriminalize same-sex relationships under section 377 last year helped her make this decision. “There is no greater emotion than love and it should not be denied. The Supreme Court of India has also struck down the old law. I believe nobody has the right to judge me as an athlete because of my decision to be with who I want. It is a personal decision, which should be respected. I will continue to strive to win medals for India at international meets,” Dutee said.
“I wanted to be with someone who will encourage me to continue being a sportsperson. I have been a sprinter for the past 10 years and I will perhaps continue to run for the next five to seven years. I travel around the world to compete. It is not easy. Mujhe kisi ka sahara bhi chahiye,” she added. Duttee also told the newspaper that she wanted to keep the identity of her partner anonymous because she didn't want her to be 'the centre of undue attention.'
Currently, Dutee is training to qualify for the World Championship and the Tokyo Olympics 2020, in Hyderabad.
Featured Image: News18
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