Monday , June 1 2020

Rickshaw driver Muhammad Ashiq: From Olympics cycling track to roads of Lahore

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LAHORE(Web Desk): Ex – Olympian Muhammad Ashiq looks daily at his trophies which he was won in a glittering cycling career for Pakistan decades ago. “Perhaps some peoples think that I have died, he Said .

“I just recall that I have shaken hands with Ex- Pakistani Prime Ministers, Presidents and  chief executives,” the 81-year-old tells to media tearfully.

He also said ,Why and how they all forgot me, who competed for Pakistan at the 1960 and the 1964 Olympics, now i am driving  a rickshaw in Lahore.

In this photo taken on June 23, 2016, former Pakistani Olympian Muhammad Ashiq poses in his auto-rickshaw in Lahore. Ashiq, who competed for Pakistan at the 1960 and the 1964 Olympics, now scrapes by as a rickshaw driver in the teeming eastern city of Lahore. / AFP PHOTO / ARIF ALI
Photo – Web Desk

Muhammad Ashiq Said, He began his sporting career as a Pakistani boxer, switching to cycling in the 1950s when his wife complained about his injuries.

He also competed in Rome in 1960 and Tokyo in 1964 and though he won no medals, he was hailed as a national hero for Pakistan.

I was so happy. I considered myself lucky to represent Pakistan in the Olympics,” he says. But when his cycling career ended, so did his luck.

In this photo taken on June 23, 2016, former Pakistani Olympian Muhammad Ashiq poses in his auto-rickshaw in Lahore. Ashiq, who competed for Pakistan at the 1960 and the 1964 Olympics, now scrapes by as a rickshaw driver in the teeming eastern city of Lahore. / AFP PHOTO / ARIF ALI

His wife and children said him over the years to stop thinking about his previous life, National Hero Said . Once a time my wife started weeping. I asked her why you are doing that… She said she was just worried about your health.She told me to be happy all the time and forget those who forgot us. I said OK i will do, and she became happy for a while. And after some year, she died.”

That was two years ago. Now, he says, his hands shaking, he too prays for death. “I pray… to meet my beloved wife in heaven. I think it is better to avoid this pathetic situation I have endured,” he says.

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