For far too long, India has looked to its cricketers alone for sporting glory. But the past few years have seen a fresh stream of sports stars from diverse disciplines, thanks to the establishment of domestic leagues such as Pro Wrestling and Pro Kabaddi, and live coverage of international events like the Asian Games and the badminton Super Series, to name a few.
The men and women, and in one case a boy-16-year-old shooting sensation Saurabh Chaudhary-profiled here all possess a spirit that has seen them overcome tremendous odds to succeed in their chosen sport. The uplifting stories are not restricted to just athletes who shone on the big stage. Behind every champion are also devoted coaches, or people passionate about their product, like Kashmir willow batmaker Rifat Masoodi. These people are proof that India's villages and small towns are a powerhouse of talent, the engine that ensures that the country punches above its weight as a sporting power.