Adnan Bashir Of Sopore Is A Champion Cyclist. He Has Overcome Multiple Challenges To Race Ahead In Life
Hero without a cape is a popular phrase. Here’s the story of an award-winning cyclist without a cycle who won six gold medals, participated five times in national-level events, is a three-time state champion and three times district champion. All without a cycle he can call his own. Adnan Bashir is a 17-year-old youngster residing at Nigeen Bagh, Sopore. He is a Class 12 student at Sopore’s Government Boys Higher Secondary School. Adnan is a youth of many talents. But the one thing that defines him the most is his passion for cycling. Adnan started cycling when he was 12. What changed for the better was the suggestion made by his football coach, Feroz Ahmad. The coach told Adnan to participate in the Baramulla District Cycling Championship. Without doing any practice for the event, Adnan won the silver medal in the championship. Following this, he was selected for the state-level cycling competition. Suddenly, Adnan found himself on a different path. He gained the perspective about what he wanted to do in life.
The Awards Pile Up
For the state-level competition, a professional cycle was required. “I had an old cycle, so my friend lent me his cycle for the competition. That professional cycle helped me in achieving my goal and winning the Gold Medal for the Mountain Bike (MTB) Mass Start and the Bronze Medal for the Road Mass Start,” remembers a thrilled Adnan. “After this competition, I started practicing wholeheartedly for excelling in cycling. I started aspiring for a national title as a cyclist,” he recalls. With Adnan devoting himself to his passion, the awards began piling up. In 2020, Adnan won gold medals at the district level and state level. He was selected for the 18th National MTB Cycling Championship 2021 in Karnataka.
“When I was called for the national-level event, I realized that I did not have the same cycle as other participants. It was the first time that I learned that a cycle can cost up to Rs 6-7 lakh. The cycle that I used for the contests till now cost only about Rs 15,000. That too was a gift from a friend,” says Adnan.Despite the difference in the kind of cycle used, Adnan performed well in the event. He ranked 19th in the time trials and 21st in the mass start event. In 2021, Adnan scored several more victories as a champion cyclist. He won gold medals and other medals at national, district, and state levels events. On the state-level Republic Day function held this year, he won the certificate of appreciation for outstanding performance in sports in 2021.
Propelled By Determination and Grit, Adnan Has Never-Quit Attitude
“Once in a local cycling competition organized in Sopore, I was ahead of everyone by some kilometers. All of a sudden the old cycle stopped running. The worn-out chain came off the chain-set. I adjusted it and started riding again. After some distance, my bicycle broke down again. While I was standing with my broken cycle, all the 14 competitors went past me. My friend came to me like a guardian angel at that time. He told me, you can still win. Take my cycle and continue the race. I took his cycle and came second in that competition. When I went on stage for the medal, the race organizers appreciated me. They said I am the real winner. They said that even though my cycle had broken down, I not only completed the race but also came second,” said Adnan. Adnan has been selected by the Sports Authority Of India (SAI) Training Centre at Kurukshetra, Haryana. To join there, he needs a good road bike to compete with other participants for the national-level events. Adnan has requested many authorities to help him by giving him a bicycle so that he can join at SAI Kurukshetra.
Radicalization Ke Aagai Jahaan Aur Bi Hain
I Practice Through Mud And Snow To Achieve My Goals
Adnan is making a name for himself as a champion cyclist. He recalls his early teenage years. “As a child growing up in a radicalized area like Sopore, I was surrounded by youngsters who were stone pelters, others who worked for militants or were militants. Through all this, I remained focused on my goal. My cycle and me. That is the only thing that has mattered the most to me,” says Adnan. Evidently, The biggest challenge Adnan has faced from 2014 till now is the lack of financial support to buy a good racing bike suitable for road races and MBT. Adnan’s father is a farmer. His earnings are enough only to sustain his family, but he cannot afford expensive cycles for Adnan. The youngster says he is deeply grateful to his friends. “My friends have helped me whenever I was in trouble,” he says. Adnan leaves home early every morning to practice. “People laugh at me when I practice in the snow and also keep cycling through mud. Let them laugh. My job is to practice, to reach my goal. We must always concentrate on the good and shed negative thoughts,” says Adnan. Adnan says he has discovered through his passion for cycling that it is important to focus on one’s goals. “We must always focus on our goals. We shouldn’t get distracted by what people say. People will always have something to talk about. But we have to build our life ourselves. We have to succeed by our own effort,” he emphasizes.