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Google Doodle celebrates birth anniversary of legendary wrestler Gama Pehalwan

Gama.webp

Google Doodle today celebrates the birth anniversary of pre-independent India’s greatest wrestler Gama Pehalwan, an undefeated world wrestling champion.

Google Doodle today celebrates the birth anniversary of pre-independent India’s greatest wrestler Gama Pehalwan, an undefeated world wrestling champion.

Born in 1878 in a village near Amritsar, he was from a family of wrestlers. He was awarded the World Heavyweight title in 1910.

His workout routine included 500 squats (bethaks) and 500 push-ups at the age of 10, Google said. In 1888, Gama won a squats contest that saw the participation of over 400 wrestlers from across the subcontinent, bringing him fame at a very young age.

One of the most significant feats achieved by Gama was lifting a 1,200-kg stone in 1902. The stone is now kept at the Baroda Museum, according to a report.

In the Google Doodle, which is created by artist Vrinda Zaveri, Gama Pehalwan is shown holding a silver mace, which was presented to him by The Prince of Wales, during his visit to India as a mark of honour to his strength.

“Gama’s legacy continues to inspire modern-day fighters. Even Bruce Lee is a known admirer and incorporates aspects of Gama’s conditioning into his own training routine!"

One of his most formidable rivals was Raheem Bakhsh Sultaniwala, the then-World Champion who stood nearly seven feet tall compared to Gama’s 5 feet 8 inches. The two competed four times, out of which three contests ended in a draw and Gama won the fourth.

Gama spent his last days in Lahore and died in 1960.

Today's doodle celebrates Gama Pehalwan's accomplishments in the ring but also the impact and representation he brought to Indian culture, Google said.

Traditional wrestling in North India started to develop around the early 1900s. During these tournaments, spectators admired the wrestlers’ physiques and were inspired by their disciplined lifestyle, Google explained.