2020 Tokyo Olympics silver medalist Mirabai Chanu feels that aspiring Indian athletes need support from a very young age so that they don’t lose hope in the long run. Hailing from a humble background in Manipur, the weightlifter overcame all odds to claim a historic medal at the Games.
While Mirabai Chanu was considered a medal prospect, kicking-off India’s Olympic campaign with a silver on the very first day of the mega event elated her to superstar status overnight. It was India’s first Olympic medal in weightlifting since Karnam Malleshwari’s bronze medal at the 2000 Sydney Games.
More significantly, Mirabai’s win has now set an example for several other female athletes to take up the sport seriously, especially with the Olympian hailing from a humble background in the North-Eastern state of Manipur. In fact, most of the Indian athletes come from the rural areas, where proper infrastructures are lacking.
Mirabai feels that the country needs more facilities at the grassroots level to uplift Indian sports. On the other hand, she mentioned the importance of supporting the athletes during their struggling days, so that they don’t lose focus in the long run.
“There is a need to support the players during their training and struggling days so that they don’t lose focus. Parents should also support their kids if they want to pursue sports,” said Mirabai Chanu, during a press conference at the NIS (National Institute of Sports), in Patiala.