Success Story of Neeraj Chopra
The 2020 Tokyo Olympics was India’s best performance ever, with a record seven medals being bagged in a wide variety of disciplines. From boxing to badminton, wrestling to weight lifting, a medal in hockey after long 40 years, and even our first in athletics. But while it’s tempting to get swept in the euphoria, we often overlook the long and arduous route towards winning a medal in the biggest sporting arena in the world.
Neeraj Chopra created history in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics with a great throw of 87.58m and won India’s first gold medal in Javelin Throw. This is the success story of India’s pride – The 2020 Tokyo Olympics gold medalist, Neeraj Chopra. A transformational yet motivational story of Neeraj Chopra from being a fat boy to being the 1st ever Indian to bring gold in athletics.
Neeraj’s Journey to Olympics
On December 24, 1997, Neeraj Chopra was born in a small village named Khandar in Panipat, Haryana. His father, Satish Kumar, is a farmer, while his mother, Saroj Devi, is a housewife. He grew up along with two sisters. Neeraj’s interest in javelin started at the very young age of 13. During his childhood, Neeraj was teased for being an overweight kid. He was called Sarpanch by the village children because he weighed 80 kgs.
The same overweight kid later created history by winning a gold medal in an individual event after Abhinav Bindra. Born and brought up in Haryana, Neeraj was fond of dairy products. But when the family noticed that his weight was getting uncontrollable, they forcefully sent him to the field to do running and exercise to reduce his weight.
Neeraj then reached Shivaji Stadium in Panipat to do some exercises and returned home with a new hobby. He saw some senior boys throwing the javelin in the stadium. Suddenly his interest grows in this sport, and the rest is history now. At the World Under-20 Championship in Poland, he threw a new world record of 86.48 meters. He then won the Asian Championship in 2017 with a throw of 85.23m.
He then trained under legendary German athlete Uwe Hohn and grabbed gold in Commonwealth Games 2018 with a splendid throw of 86.47m. His personal best throw was 87.43m in the Doha leg of the Diamond League in 2018. He also won the Asian Games with a big throw of 88.06 meters.
Subedar Neeraj Chopra was enrolled in 4 Rajputana Rifles on May 15, 2016, as direct entry to Naib Subedar. After joining the Indian Army, he was selected for training at the Army Sports Institute, Pune, and Mission Olympics Wing. Under the Mission Olympics Wing, he secured two silver medals in shooting. Neeraj’s medal highlights the efforts of the Mission Olympics Wing.
He was awarded various honors in sports, like the prestigious Arjuna Award in 2018 and VSM in 2020 for his marvelous performance. But winning a gold medal for India was not that easy for Neeraj. Unfortunately, his life took a turn where he encountered several low phases.
He underwent arthroscopic surgery on the elbow of his right throwing arm in the year 2019. It was a surgery that could have affected his confidence. Because of this surgery, he was away from all forms of competition for nearly eight months. When asked about how he managed to boost his confidence level again and grabbed a gold medal in Tokyo 2020 Olympics despite being away from sports, Neeraj states that, after surgery, he immediately started cycling because he was unable to move his hand. After some time, he started strengthening and doing hand exercises.
After doing this for a few weeks, he slowly started gaining strength. To keep him motivated, he set the target for himself to do better than the previous day. Due to injury, he could not participate in any tournaments but to keep his morale up, and he focused his mind on training.
Neeraj Chopra is a true fighter who kept his spirits up despite all the obstacles he faced. His victories and determination kept him going. He proved himself to the world and made India proud. His victories have motivated him and others never to settle and strive for the best.
Life Lesson from Neeraj Chopra’s Life
Neeraj Chopra’s life has defined his confidence and hard work. Despite suffering a significant setback, he remained undaunted and achieved his goals. With this inspiring story of Neeraj Chopra, we get this life lesson that – we should never lose faith in ourselves no matter what people think about us.
We ensure to keep going and pursuing our dreams. Difficulties and setbacks are part of life that test our strength and willpower in challenging situations. All we need is never to lose hope and stay focused on our goals.