India's Olympics archers Atanu Das and Deepika Kumari's love story is like a Bollywood movie
The couple starting dating after the Rio Olympics 2016, but got married in December 2020
At the Yumenoshima Park Archery Field where India's star archer Atanu Das took the field in the Men's Individual Recurve events last week, there were no people or fans to cheer. But then Atanu had his biggest fan, World No. 1 Women's Recurve archer and his wife, Deepika Kumari cheering for him.
Deepika kept screaming and encouraging the archer when he came face-to-face with London Olympics gold medalist, South Korean Oh Jin-hyek in the Round of 32. Atanu Das shocked the two-time Olympic champion with his sensational shoot-off, scoring 6-5.
Both Atanu and Deepika have impressed with their individual performances. Deepika is all set to compete in the Women’s Individual 1/8 Eliminations against Russian archer Ksenia Perova tomorrow and the odds seem to be in her favour considering her earlier performance. While Atanu will compete in the Men's Individual 1/8 Eliminations against Japan's Takaharu Furukawa on Saturday.
The couple has been a formidable force in this edition of the Olympics, but how did they find each other? Here's the story behind it. According to media reports, the duo met at the Tata Academy in Jamshedpur in 2008 but it wasn’t love at first sight, they were not even friends to begin with.
According to the official Olympics website, Deepika is quoted saying, "He didn't know Hindi then, so he wouldn't talk to me." Gradually the two of them became friends. But the duo had to deal with "communication gaps, big egos and misunderstandings." "It was so random, childish fights blew up. Kuchh bhi cheez pe bachpanaa tha. (It was so childish that we could fight on anything). Something as small as 'why did you take my bottle of water?" Atanu Das recollected. Though they participated in Rio Olympics in 2016, they were still not dating, But then when they were destined to meet and become friends, cupid had to strike. After the Indian recurve team's heavy defeat in the 2017 World Championships in Mexico City, the two bonded over this unfortunate happening. According to other reports, the duo went shopping together, and sorted out all their misunderstandings.
But then the duo kept their relationship private until December 2018 when they got engaged. Atanu was quoted in other reports, saying, "We didn't want the other archers and our teammates to know about it really so we kept it private." The duo had planned to get married after the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, but since the games got postponed they got married on June 30 last year in Ranchi, Deepika’s hometown. Deepika Kumari and Atanu Das are the first Indian couple to in the same discipline to participate in the Olympic Games. They are the second married Indian couple to participate at the Olympics together after Vece Paes and his wife who participated in the 1972 Olympics.