India at the Olympics | Other Sports

Mirabai dedicates Olympics silver medal to people of Manipur

Silver Medalist in Tokyo Olympics 2020, Saikhom Mirabai Chanu in Imphal, Tuesday, July 27, 2021.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Olympic silver medalist Saikhom Mirabai Chanu announced at a public reception in Imphal on Tuesday that she was dedicating her medal to the people of Manipur.

Ms. Chanu said, “It is because of your prayers, unwavering support and wishes that I bagged the silver medal in the event. I am so excited that I cannot speak.”

She said she was taken aback when Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren called her soon after she won the medal. She said, “India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi also rang me up to express his happiness for bringing the laurel.”

Chief Minister N. Biren, who presided over the reception, said, “I am handing over a cheque of ₹1 crore. You have been appointed as the Additional Superintendent of Police (Sports)”. She was also given the appointment letter by the CM. Later Mr. Biren and others escorted her to the new office in Imphal.

 

Earlier, Ms Chanu’s parents were joined by a few thousand people, including fans and well wishers, at the Imphal international airport to welcome her with garlands and hugs. Though they were all wearing masks, social distancing was not observed.

The Chief Minister said, “In view of the situation I escorted her in my car and whisked her away.”

Thousands of people lined the seven km road to the City Convention Centre. She waved at her friends, fans and spectators at the airport but she did not get a chance to speak to them. On the way to the reception, she had to change places with Mr. Biren in the car to wave to fans on both sides of the road. The cheering crowds threw garlands and petals at the car.

Determined to win

Her father Saikhom Kriti said, “She is the youngest baby out of six siblings. From the age of 12 years she indicated that she would want to become an athlete. But we are of a poor family. All we could do was to give ₹5 daily. With this pittance she used to go from our home at Nongpok Kakching to the Khuman Lampak. As bus service was unreliable she used to hitch a ride in trucks transporting sand, stones, etc.”

 

Ms Chanu said, “In the Rio 2016 Olympics I could not win any medal. But this did not dishearten me. Instead it firmed me up and as a result I underwent vigorous training for five years.”

She said that she will prepare for the next Olympic games. Ms Anita, her coach said, “One day Mirabai came to the sports complex saying that she would like to become an athlete. We examined her and found that physically she was okay and we immediately made arrangements for her.” Brojen another coach also said, “We are happy over her achievements”.

Later in the day, another grand reception was held at her village Nongpok Kakching as Ms Chanu and her family returned.


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Printable version | Sep 20, 2021 7:52:41 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/mirabai-dedicates-olympics-silver-medal-to-people-of-manipur/article35562597.ece

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