Sailor Vir on high tide

Sailor Vir on high tide

For adolescents life is a fantasy, full of myriad hues. For them, life revolves around groovy music, cool apparels, smart phones and the desire to attain immense popularity at a young age. 14-year old Vir Menon is no different than other kids of his age, but for a small difference. He has has a big goal – to bag an Olympic medal in sailing in 2020.

Going by his current track record, he does stand a very good chance of doing the country proud.

The teen is the first Indian sailor to have qualified into the Gold Fleet of Laser 4.7 Worlds. He sailed the series superbly to finish 33rd in the gold fleet and seventh overall in the under 16 category this year. He was in fifth place in the second race of the series.

Vir has his roots in New Delhi but lives in Bangalore now. “I am aiming for something big. I would try to qualify for Olympics in 2016 but it would be tough to compete. I want to take a break after my XII exams and want to go for rigorous physical exercise and sailing practice so that I can achieve my target in 2020,” says Vir who want to complete his basic education first before adopting sports completely.

Interestingly, Vir is not the only one in his family who took to sailing for fun. Three generations of his family have been into sailing. “My grandfather was in the Navy and my father also participated in sailing events,” shares the youngster whose father introduced him to sailing at the age of seven and became his inspiration. 

In 2010, Vir for the first time, participated internationally. His journey as a champion started in 2011 when he secured the second position in the Hyderabad Inland National Championship. In March 2012, he represented the Indian team along with two other boys and one girl and produced the best ever result at the World Championship. In April last, he also participated in the Malaysian and European Championships.  
With so many events in a year, Vir has to miss classes.  
But he appreciates the effort his teachers make to help him with his studies. “My school has always encouraged me along with my studies. Teachers give me additional time and explain the chapters I have missed.”

Though Vir is a sailor, he enjoys other sports too. “If I was not a sailor I could have opted for soccer, tennis, basketball or golf. I take out time to play all these.  I think I am a born sportsperson and want to continue throughout my life.” However, Vir feels that sport is not given enough importance in India. “Sports funding programme should be increased.  Every sport should be distributed equal amount of funds so that sportsperson can get support to polish their talents.”

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