Sushil Kumar was born in Baprola, Najafgarh, Delhi, India to Diwan Singh and Kamla Devi. As a wrestler, Kumar was coached by Satpal Singh.
Kumar is a devoted Hindu and a strict vegetarian. He is 5’5″ tall.
An alumnus of Noida College of Physical Education in Dadri, Gautam Buddha Nagar, Uttar Pradesh, India, Kumar holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in physical education. Here are 13 more things about him:
- He was 14 years old when he started training in pehlwani wrestling at the akhada or wrestling school in the Chhatrasal Stadium in Delhi in 1997. In 1998, he won the gold medal in his weight category in freestyle wrestling at the World Cadet Games in Moscow, Russia.
- In 2000, he won gold in freestyle wrestling at the Asian Junior Wrestling Championship.
- In September 2003, he ranked fourth in freestyle wrestling in the 60 kg category at the 2003 World Wrestling Championships in New York City, New York, United States.
- In August 2004, he ranked 14th in freestyle wrestling in the 60 kg category at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.
- In 2006, he was awarded the Arjuna Award, the sports honor of India.
- In August 2008, he won bronze in freestyle wrestling in the 66 kg category at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China.
- In July 2009, he received the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, the highest honor for sportspersons in India.
- In September 2010, he won gold in freestyle wrestling in the 66 kg category at the 2010 World Wrestling Championships in Moscow. After the win, he became an assistant commercial manager at the Northern Railway. On October 3, 2010, he handed the Queen’s Baton to Prince Charles in the Queen’s Baton Relay for the 2010 Commonwealth Games opening ceremony in New Delhi, India.
- In 2011, he received the Padma Shree, the fourth highest civilian award in India.
- In August 2012, he won silver in freestyle wrestling in the 66 kg category at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England, United Kingdom.
- In August 2014, he won gold in freestyle wrestling in the 74 kg category at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, U.K.
- In April 2018, he won gold in freestyle wrestling in the 74 kg category at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia.
- He is accused of being involved in a brawl in the Chhatrasal Stadium on May 4, 2021 that led to the death of former junior national wrestling champion Sagar Dhankhar, 23. On May 5, 2021, he left his house in Delhi and met his friend Ajay Sherawat in Shalimar Bagh, Dakshini Pitampura, Pitampura, North West Delhi, New Delhi. They travelled to Uttarakhand, India then moved to Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh. On May 6, 2021, they returned to Delhi. They were arrested in New Delhi on May 23, 2021.