When we hear the word Bodybuilder, we automatically imagine a dude with a beast-like, glistening body. Well, sorry to interrupt your imagination. The Bodybuilder we are talking about is nothing of that sort; but much more.
Meet Europa Bhowmik- she became India’s youngest bodybuilder at age of 16. She has been into bodybuilding since 2014.
The source of her uncommon name:
Europa is not just any girl with an uncommon name. She was born on a ship named ‘Samco Europa’.
She says, “My father is a captain in the merchant navy. My mother conceived on the ship and the crew decided that the name would be Sam if a boy was born and Europa if it was a girl. Thank God I am girl. I don’t like the name Sam.”
Europa recalls that she was ruthlessly bullied at school. The lady had to go through immense emotional pressure as she was only 4’11 and felt awfully unattractive among her peers.
She says, “That was the time around puberty, when I was going through hormonal changes. I looked chubby and felt insecure. My mother suggested I join a gym. But that didn’t help. I started dieting and became anorexic.”
However, Europa doesn’t take it as a negative factor. She says, “The only good thing about this phase was, I realised that I was suffering from anorexia.”
Never in her wildest dreams had Europa thought of becoming a bodybuilder. She joined the gym for the first time only to tackle her weight and become fit. The newbie was completely unaware of strength machines during her initial days of gymming.
She credits one of her gym trainers of identifying and grooming her. Europa says, “He introduced me to a balanced diet and I started exercising on strength machines. This regimen suited me.”
Budding romance for Bodybuilding:
For the first time in her life, Europa appeared at a national-level bodybuilding championship in 2015. She says, “Though I didn’t win, I found my focus. I was floored by the chiselled bodies of other competitors. And there I found my coach Indranil Maity. I’ve never looked back.”
Other than representing India at various Sports and Bodybuilding Championships, Europa has plenty of accolades to her name.
- She became India’s youngest Female Bodybuilder at the age of 16.
- The lady won bronze at the 2016 World Championship which was held in Bangkok.
- Europa became a runner-up of Miss Asia 2017 in ABBF Asian Championship held in Seoul.
- In the same year, she became the 3rd runner-up in Senior National Bodybuilding Competition.
- She also won a gold medal in National Championship.
A Bengali Bodybuilder
By now you may be totally blown away with what this unique bodybuilder has to offer. However, it still comes as a shock to many because, other than the fact that a girl could be interested in bodybuilding, Bengalis are not particularly known for fitness.
Her thoughts on this?
“I have never looked at it that way. Bodybuilding is a rare sport and I pursued it as I wanted to be different. I wanted to stand out in a crowd”, says Europa.
What inspires her?
Europa says that her inspiration comes from the fact that not many women were into bodybuilding when she first started, but they are now.
She says, “My parents were not very sure about this. Since they have never stopped me from doing anything, I could continue. However, it took me one win to convince them and not they are now super-supportive. These days, girls are also coming to me to get into a fitness regimen. This, I would think, is my biggest achievement says Europa.”