Ace sprinter Dutee Chand reveals she is in same-sex relationship with ‘soulmate’
Champion sprinter Dutee Chand on Sunday became the first Indian athlete to come out and declare that she is in a same-sex relationship with someone. Dutee Chand revealed that she is in a relationship with a girl from her hometown Chaka Gopalpur in Orissa.Dutee though, refused to disclose the identity of the person as she did not want to make her “the centre of undue attention”.”I have found someone who is my soulmate. I believe everyone should have the freedom to be with whoever they decide they want to be with. I have always supported the rights of those who want to be in a same-sex relationship. It is an individual person’s choice. Currently, my focus is on the World Championships and the Olympic Games but in the future I would like to settle down with her,” Dutee told The Sunday Express.Dutee won two silver medals at the Asian Games 2018 with second place finishes in the women’s 100m and 200m finals. The 100m medal was India’s first in the event in 20 years while the 200m silver was the first after 16 years in the event.”I have always believed that everyone should have the freedom to love. There is no greater emotion than love and it should not be denied. The Supreme Court of India has also struck down the old law. I believe nobody has the right to judge me as an athlete because of my decision to be with who I want. It is a personal decision, which should be respected. I will continue to strive to win medals for India at international meets,” Dutee said.advertisementDutee is currently preparing to compete in the World Championships after which she will start her training for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.”I wanted to be with someone who will encourage me to continue being a sportsperson. I have been a sprinter for the past 10 years and I will perhaps continue to run for the next five to seven years. I travel around the world to compete. It is not easy. Mujhe kisi ka sahara bhi chahiye (I need someone who will support me on the personal front),” she said.