P. T. Usha is a former Indian athlete and a nominated member of the Rajya Sabha. She has brought many laurels to India with her various athletic competitions at the national and international levels. In November 2022, she was elected as the President of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA). The Hindu.She was born to a poor family. She was brought up in Thikkoti, Kerala. She once fell ill in her childhood, her family was not able to provide her with better treatment after which she became very weak. India Times.Since childhood, she was inclined towards sports. She loved to run around and jump over fences while playing with her siblings and friends.In an interview, P. T. Usha shared the meaning behind her name ‘Pilavullakandi Thekkeraparambil Usha.’ She said, Pilaullakandi means that there was a tree in the compound of my house which was not anywhere in the whole village. And Thekkeparambil means that my house was in the south direction of the tree which is there. That’s why I got the name PT Usha.”.When she was in school, her PT teacher asked her to participate in the school’s athletic competition. She agreed to it and won her first event against her senior (who was in class 7 and was a sub-district champion). She then started practising running and participated in various athletic competitions at her school. The school ground where P. T. Usha used to practice in her childhood.In 1976, while she was participating in one such competition, the Indian athletics coach O. M. Nambiar spotted her and decided to start her professional training in athletics. During an interview, while talking about the same, Nambiar said, I first saw Usha in 1976 during the Payyoli school annual sports meet where I was the guest to distribute the prize. What impressed me at first sight about Usha was her lean shape and fast walking style. I knew she could become a very good sprinter. She was different from others in the sports school and was very punctual. I lived near her house and therefore I had lots of time to train her. The results were quick.” P. T. Usha on winning an athletic competition in her teens.In the same year, a sports school for women was started by the Kerala State Government in Kannur, Kerala. She then joined the school and started her training in athletics under her coach O. M. Nambiar. She was studying in class 8 at that time. Later, the Kerala Government awarded her a scholarship of Rs 250 pm for her outstanding performance in athletics. P. T. Usha in a hurdle race.In 1979, she started gaining popularity after winning the individual championship at the National School Games. During an interview, Usha shared that her father always supported her and used to accompany her in the initial years of her training sessions. She said, My father used to come to the ground where I used to practice. He used to bring a stick to the field. Because when I used to go for a run in the early hours, many dogs used to come there. Sometimes she used to run on a dusty road along the railway line and used to race with the passing vehicles. PT Usha also loved running on the seashore. I loved to train by the sea. There were a variety of exercises that could be done. There was no side-to-side. You could also do uphill running and run downhill. As you wish.” An old picture of P. T. Usha doing stretching exercise.In 1980, P. T. Usha bagged 4 gold medals in her first international tournament Pakistan Open National Meet at Karachi.A year later, she was offered an assistant job at the Indian Railways on sports quota. The Kerala Government gifted her a Standard 2000 car for her praiseworthy performance in various athletic events. P. T. Usha with her car.