Aditi Ashok is living a dream this week in Rio de Janeiro, and her father, Gudlamani, is with her every step of the way.
The 18-year-old is representing India at the women’s golf event, and she’s currently in medal contention. Gudlamani is caddying for her this week, and the role seems to suit him. He was with her the first time she hit balls on the range at a local club, at age five-and-a-half.
The talented teenager is the youngest in the field this week, representing a country of over a billion people, many of which have little interest in the sport. Currently, India’s most recognized golfer is Anirban Lahiri, who plays on the PGA Tour. Aditi may be bringing the women’s game to a whole new audience.
Also feeling the love? Gudlamani, who feels indebted to his daughter for the opportunity. He’s not a golfer, so inside the ropes he offers different type of support to Aditi: a fatherly comfort. He also says that he “just cleans the ball.”
“I was almost in tears,” Gudlamani told the media in Rio. “I thanked her for giving me this opportunity, the honor. As kids, we all dream of being Olympians. She brought me to the Olympics.”