Kiran Khan is an Olympic swimmer, and one of the first international female swimmers for Pakistan.She is known as the ‘Golden Girl’ to her fans and a true legend in the making to her contemporaries. Today, she joins in as a guest in our show
Rohail Amjad: You’re the first Pakistani female international swimmer. When you started swimming, did you think one day you’ll be representing your country?
Kiran Khan: I was never into sports though. I have a family background, all playing different sports from a very early age I was a very competitive and angry child, so get my anger down my parents thought me swimming, excelling in swimming, not in the plan but everything you learn leads you to a new beginning so this is how I got into swimming and later excelling in it!
Representing was a dream it’s everyone’s dream to do something for your country and Alhamdulillah I was privileged enough to do it more than one time. it takes years of hard work patience to excel in something which you love and criticized by the entire community around you.
Rohail Amjad: How many medals you have won for Pakistan?
Kiran Khan: I have won a total of 85 medals. including 9 international gold medals and 38 domestic gold medals.
Rohail Amjad: Do you think that’s sports other than cricket in Pakistan are rich – men games, as most of the no cricketing players, are from privileged families as they have access to social clubs?
Kiran Khan: It’s not about players being rich or not, it depends on whether the government supports other games as much as it supports cricket? No? We have immense talent in athletics, swimming, badminton, etc but all the money resides with cricket in our country. If we look at our neighbors they have made their local stars as international heroes with the correct amount of support. The cricket team arrives at big crowds even if they lose, I hope you remember what Muhammad Wasim (Boxing Champion) what had to face, a national hero going back in a public taxi. But then again cricket is being played in the streets right? Brand doesn’t want us even though we might have achieved more than any cricketer they will always look down body shame you but this doesn’t stop us from playing and being athletic. They can have all the fun inside the club and we are better off outside the club.
Rohail Amjad:You have been swimming for about 2 decades now but we haven’t seen you much in the limelight, despite being featured in Forbes, coverage in Pakistan hasn’t been adequate?
Kiran Khan: Well, if people look down to other sports that is not going to stop us from doing something we are good at, and coverage or no coverage doesn’t matter. Social media is a bigger platform, we can spread the news if (bigger channels ) think we are not up to there mark. it’s a choice either be recognized or be a story for a few minutes on TV. and Alhamdulillah I have been recognized many times over like I said it is your choice to be a story or use that time to improve or do matter. I’m not hungry for limelight I rather stay out of the limelight and do my work and let my work speak it for me 😉
Rohail Amjad: Swimming itself is a very tough exercise, do you train in the gym as well? What diet do you follow?
Kiran Khan: Yes, swimming is very very tough. every day when you have to jump in the pool twice for hours of training and follow that routine religiously it gets tough, your social life gets disturbed everything falls apart but keep going is the name of the game. as a swimmer, we tend to eat a lot but avoid oily and junk food and our trainers give us such a vigorous workout. we eat sleep train repeat
Rohail Amjad: How has been the family support?
Kiran Khan: The entire world knows this my family put me into this sports and I thank them every day, my family is not a typical family we see they love women they support women they encourage women financially, emotionally, they are the reason I’m here and if anyone tries to halt us they know how to take care of them. we are treated equally as my other sibling we all are equal.
Rohail Amjad: Being a girl, what difficulties you have faced in these sports? How has been the
Kiran Khan: I think the only difficulty was swimming pools and separate men and women times as my father was my coach. so we needed time so I can train with my brother and father can coach me that was the biggest hassle. other than that I never take one’s criticism or comment effect me .im still going to do like it or not, not doing it for them doing it for my self.
Rohail Amjad: Has the dress code been an issue?
Kiran Khan: No never ,it is not a code sports, should be played in proper gear if you can’t wear it properly don’t play it. nor criticize the sports gear
Rohail Amjad: You also run a swimming camp, what was your motive behind that, what is your target market?
Kiran Khan: I want to provide to girls, which I did not have at the time swimming was not popular and no female coach. I have my pool run by my own rules with qualified coaches. we train kids to be better swimmers a place where all age women can learn in a sporty atmosphere . its an academy for professionals only.
Rohail Amjad: Do you think Pakistani girls have ambition for swimming?
Kiran Khan: Yes, they do, but here you can’t do much without your parent’s permission and support. girls do play but leave at a certain age so very few I have seen have the ambition to win for Pakistan and rest is your luck.
Rohail Amjad: Thank you so much for talking to me, wish you all the best for your future
Kiran Khan: Thanks you so much too for having me on the show