‘Golden girl’ PT Usha had a difficult life while growing up, plagued by poverty. However, her skills and incredible drive had prompted her to receive Rs 250 scholarship from the Kerala state government. She went onto represent her district when it started a sports school for women in Cannore.
In the same year, things took a major turn when athletics coach OM Nambiar noticed the girl at an award ceremony for the National School Games where Usha had participated.
The coach was impressed with “her lean shape and fast walking style” as he told later in an Rediff.com interview and as he began coaching her, the rest is history. Usha never looked back in her career and even when she took a break of four years, she returned to clinch the silver medal at the Hisroshima Asiad. Her greatest regret and disappointment has to be the Los Angeles Olympics where the Golden Girl missed the Bronze by just 1/100th of a second.