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Mirabai Chanu Won Us Our First Gold Medal At CWG 2018, But Do You Know Her Story?

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Mirabai Chanu. You probably hadn’t heard of this name till about 24 hours ago when she bagged India’s first gold medal at the Commonwealth Games. Let’s take a moment to consider this very sorry state of affairs. There will probably be a bunch of movie makers lining up outside the weightlifter’s door to make her biopic. Maybe then we will all know her story. But if you are curious or you want to show your support by actually knowing about her, here’s what her journey is about.

Mirabai is 23 years old! Yup, all of 23. On these young shoulders, the crushing performance in the Olympics in Rio played heavily. She failed to record any lift at the Olympics and she almost quit the sport because of this. She says it was her worst performance, and one that left her depressed. But you can probably tell, she’s no quitter. Mirabai says that her coach, family members and her mom were her pillars of support and the reason she’s here today.

Of course, the bad run at the Olympics was quickly forgotten when she won at the World Championships held in the US in 2017. She continued her winning streak with a smashing performance yesterday.

But even here, the journey wasn’t easy. Mirabai didn’t have access to a physiotherapist in Australia. In a sport as physically taxing as this, not having a physiotherapist could affect performance tremendously. Mirabai, however, has been a sport, and obviously has not let this affect her.

In a country where only one sport takes centre stage, knowing about the struggles about our sports people makes every win that much more appreciable.


Mansi Shah is the resident humour writer and random conversation starter. Tends to laugh manically at puns. Deeply enjoys the blunt force of sarcasm. Preys on chauvinists and people with incorrect grammar. Hoards makeup and beauty products. Attacks Nutella with vigour.

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