Mirabai Chanu’s Gratitude For 150 Truck Drivers Who Contributed To Her 2020 Tokyo Olympics Win
The 26-year-old lifted a total of 202kgs
(87kg + 115kg) while the gold went to China’s Hou Zhihui who lifted 210 kgs
(87kg + 115kg) and the bronze was bagged by Indonesia’s Aisah Windy Cantika who
lifted a total of 194kgs (84kg + 110kg). The medal comes as a great
accomplishment for Mirabai Chanu who had previously failed to log a single
legitimate lift in 2016 Rio Olympics. But redemption was achieved soon enough
at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
As tough as it may have been to bag the
silver, Chanu’s heart sure is golden as she went on to felicitate the people
who helped her make this win possible and they were none other than the truck
drivers. She expressed her gratitude for 150 truck drivers who made it possible
for her travel to her academy from her home which was a stretch of 30kms. The
travel from her village to her training academy at Imphal was only possible
with the help of these friendly sand carrying truck drivers as she herself
couldn’t afford regular private transportation to and from from her home to the
The 26-year-old medalist gifted all the 150
truck drivers shirts and Manipuri scarves along with treating them to a lunch. Chanu’s
brother also mentioned how their parents would give her 10-20 rupees for her
travel from the home to the academy which was 20-30kms away.
Her brother, Meitei also adds that the
trucks would leave early in the morning from the market area, they would check
which ones would be heading towards her training academy and would send her
with them. He recalls how she never complained about travelling that way either
given the circumstances.
Chanu’s feat at the Tokyo Olympics was
definitely not a small one as it ended India’s wait of 21 years to achieve
another win at the event. Chanu is the second weightlifter following Karnam
Malleswari who won a bronze in the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
Setting all else aside, Chanu’s humble
gesture towards the truck drivers who helped and supported her caught wind on
the online front as well. Chanu was seen as an inspiration and commended for
not forgetting the people who helped her get to where she was. There were people
who stated that she not only won India the medal, but she also won the hearts
of the million people in it through her wonderful gesture of rewarding those
back who contributed to her feat.
Countless others congratulated Chanu on the
silver win and her graciousness towards the truck drivers. Her interaction
during the felicitation of the 150 drivers has also been captured on video and
went viral soon enough. President Ram Nath Kovind along with Prime Minister
Modi were also among the many who congratulated Mirabai Chanu through Twitter
on her silver medal win at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
"Could not have asked for a happier
start to Tokyo2020! India is elated by Mirabai Chanu's stupendous performance.
Congratulations to her for winning the silver medal in weightlifting. Her
success motivates every Indian," Modi tweeted with the hashtag
“Heartiest congratulations to Mirabai Chanu
for starting the medal tally for India in the Tokyo Olympics 2020 by winning
silver medal in weightlifting,” Kovind tweeted.
Amul as a brand also dedicated a special
topical to mark Chanu’s win with the tagline, “Worth her weight in silver” and
a caricature of Chanu wearing her silver medal and butter smeared on her