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From carrying firewood to winning silver at Olympics, Mirabai Chanu scripts history in Tokyo

India's sensational weightlifter from Manipur, Mirabai Chanu bagged the silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics.

Mirabai Chanu won a Silver Medal at Tokyo Olympics 2020

Mirabai Chanu (Source: Getty Images)


Kalptaru Agarwal

Updated: 24 July 2021 8:01 AM GMT

Saikhom Mirabai Chanu, the girl from the East Imphal district of Manipur scripted history as she won the silver medal in the Women's 49kg Weightlifting event at the Tokyo Olympics. She is the champion female weightlifter who has made her nation proud with a total lift of 202 kg, four times more than her body weight to claim the second position leaving behind her fierce competitors.

Her story is an inspiration for many and speaks of the remarkable rise in her life. As a kid, she used to lift heavy firewood which her brother four years elder to her failed to do. Due to those travels with firewood on her shoulder, she now lifts the heaviest of weights to elevate her position at such international competitions.

Her life filled with struggles motivates every child to defeat difficulties and be steady to tackle all odds. With limited means in her family and being the youngest amongst six siblings in Nonpok Kakchinga, a village in Imphal, it wasn't easy for Chanu. Though she wished to take up archery as a professional sport but destiny had other plans when she chanced upon weightlifting in a sports hall in Imphal.

Mirabai used to find her inspiration from Kunjarani Devi, India's most decorated female weightlifter. Her ambition was fuelled by the firewood carried by her every day as she left her mark at the Tokyo Olympics. She is the proud gold medallist of the 2018 Commonwealth Games and the world record holder in clean and jerk with a lift of 119kgs.

The only weightlifter from India to participate in the Tokyo Olympics, the girl from Manipur has come out with flying colors making her hometown and nation jubilant of her achievements at the Summer Games 2020.

She has a long way to go and will be always remembered in history inspiring millions of lives. Chanu's journey from firewood to weights, from village to podium, from heartbreaking defeats to heartwarming wins, will be remembered forever.

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