Mirabai Chanu : setting a true example of hard work and success

26 year old Mirabai Chanu won India’s first medal at Tokyo 2020. She won the silver medal in the 49 Kg category of the weightlifting event. She pulled off a 115 Kg list in the “clean and jerk’ event. Her family was elated in celebration as they watched her from her village, Nongpok Kakching.

Legendary weightlifter Kunjarani was her idol. Her coaches took the initiative to push her and she always strictly obeyed her mentors. Later she also met her idol Kunjarani who guided her and helped her alot. She has made the whole country proud. Mirabai was always curious about sporting activities. She would also observe archery, Kung Fu and Karate. She was quite fascinated by weightlifting since her school days.

Mirabai was born in 1994 in a home with a humble background. She was only 12 years old when one day she went to collect firewood along with her brother. Her elder brother could not pick up the heavy firewood but Mirabai lifted the bundle of firewood and brought it home. Villagers were very surprised.

Her mother said that if they had a bullock cart, then she would not have to pick up the firewood. Mirabai asked her mother about how much will a bullock cart cost? To this her mother replied that a bullock cart is very expensive. One of the villagers told her that if she wins a gold in a weightlifting championship, then she could sell the gold to buy a bullock cart for her family.

It was that day when she set a goal and was determined to win the gold medal. After winning the gold medal at the 2017 World Weightlifting Championship, she bought a bullock cart for her family. She requested her parents to allow her to pursue weightlifting. But since they were poor, she started practicing at home using household items and it was the beginning.

In the 2014 Commonwealth games, she won the silver medal. In 2017, she won the gold medal at the World Weightlifting Championships. In the 2018 edition of the event, she won a gold medal. She was honoured with Padma Shri by the Government of India for her contribution to sports. In 2018, she was awarded the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award.

The road for her was not easy. She did not have the money nor did she have the resources. But she did not let anything become a roadblock in the road of her success. She defied the odds with her determination and hard work. She has made the entire country proud. Her story is so inspiring and she has become a role model for every girl in the country.