Published July 28, 2012 | 4:11 pm
Toronto: Indo-Canadian wrestler Arjan Bhullar is, quite literally, following in his dad’s footsteps. He will be competing in the men’s freestyle 120 kg division. He has left no stone unturned to win a gold in the Olympics.
Bhullar is the first Canadian of South Asian descent to qualify for freestyle wrestling in the Olympic Games, and is a five-time member of the national team.
His father Avtar Singh was a national-level wrestler who attained much success in both India and Canada, and now some 30 years later his son is carrying the proverbial family torch as a member of Canada’s team at the 2012 Olympic Summer Games which begin in London, England.
Arjan Bhullar is making his debut in Olympic wrestling at the London Games in the men’s freestyle 120 kg division. He is a five-time member of the national team and was named Canadian Wrestler of the year in 2009. Bullar won gold at the Commonwealth Games in India in 2010 and also has a bronze medal from the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro.
It has been a long and challenging road for the Bhullar family as the dream of producing an Olympic caliber wrestler has been in the family since Arjan’s father Avtar Bhullar competed in the 80s. Now, after 25 years of hard work Arjan has realised this goal.
Arjan believes he has the right people around him to now take aim at the Olympic podium. He trusts his team, and the team trusts him.
Bhullar also holds a bronze medal from the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro and was first introduced to the sport of wrestling by his father, Avtar, who competed for prize money on the Indian wrestling circuit.
It’s a long road from Indian’s Punjab state to Richmond, B.C. – and an even longer one to the Olympics.Arjan will try to cement his path to London Olympics, continuing the family journey that began a world away, in a village that shares his surname.
Avtar Bhullar was 11 years old when, in 1971, he moved from India to Vancouver. The Bhullar family settled near south Vancouver’s Punjabi market in 1971, before moving to the their cranberry farm five years later.
Arjan Bhullar was born in May, 1986, nearly a decade after his father and uncles erected the homemade gym. Arjan was still in diapers when he started scooting around the wrestling mat.
Arjan is very confident of winning the Olympic gold and says, “I do not plan on just being a participant in the Games, I am aiming to stand at the top of that podium and bring back that Gold medal.”
“I think (a gold medal) is well within my reach.I have been successful at every other level and there is this deep down belief that this will be my year.”
The men’s 120-kilogram freestyle wrestling competition is scheduled for Aug. 11.