A girl from a small village Nonpok Kakchinga in East Imphal, Manipur has made a history at Tokyo Olympics 2020 by winning a sliver medal in women’s weightlifting. Mirabai Chanu’s journey was not a bed of roses as she faced various hurdles in her quest to become a sportsperson.
Mirabai Chanu was the youngest of the six siblings and as a child, Chanu had to go out to bring the firewood to earn their livelihood. The logs that she lifted helped her in winning the silver medal in 49kg weightlifting category at Tokyo Olympics on Saturday. Mirabai Chanu won the first medal for India in Tokyo Olympics and it was the 2nd medal in weightlifting for India after Karnam Malleswari who won bronze medal in 2000 Sydney Olympics.
In an interview, Mirabai Chanu said that her brothers and cousins used to play football and when they come back home, they were dirty. she said that she always wanted to play a game which is neat and clean. She had to travel 22kms on her way to reach school as well as training facilities as a child. For this she was required to change two buses. Mirabai Chanu got a job as a ticket inspector in Indian Railways which helped her to feed her family.
Mirabai Chanu wanted to become an archer but ended up being a weightlifter. Her decision to opt for weightlifting did not go wrong even after her poor show at Rio 2016. After the Rio Olympics 2016, Chanu came back strongly as she won gold medal in 2017 World Championships and a gold medal in 2018 Commonwealth Games.