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Neeraj Chopra’s Gold Medal Takes Center Stage As India Comes Together To Celebrate Olympic Pride

Neeraj Chopra’s Gold Medal Takes Center Stage As India Comes Together To Celebrate Olympic Pride
August 17
12:32 2021

The Indian athletes who won medals at the Tokyo Olympics were treated to a huge welcome ceremony by India’s government upon their return this week. The event, held at the Ashoka Hotel in New Delhi on Monday, saw Neeraj Chopra steal the show, with Sports Minister Anurag Thakur talking up the “incredible story of resilience and sporting excellence” at the ceremony, which was delayed by the pandemonium at the airport as the Olympic heroes landed home.

Thousands of supporters showed up at the airport to welcome wrestlers Ravi Kumar Dahiya and Bajrang Punia, as well as boxer Lovlina Borgohain, who all came in from Tokyo earlier in the day. The men’s hockey team enjoyed the same treatment.

Chopra, who won gold as a javelin thrower, was the center of attention as he took the stage alongside Borgohain, Punia, Dahiya, and Manpreet Singh, with the hockey team seated in the front row. The athletes were handed mementos and shawls by the sports minister while the bronze-winning men’s hockey team and the women’s team, who finished fourth, cut cakes.

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“Thank you all for the support. This gold medal is not just for me but for the entire nation. I have been roaming around with this in my pocket since then. I haven’t been able to eat or sleep properly since then but everything feels fine when I look at it,” Chopra said of his grand achievement.

Neeraj Chopra With Gold Medal at Tokyo Olympics 2020

Neeraj Chopra With Gold Medal at Tokyo Olympics 2020 (Credits: Instagram)

“Competition was really tough, but you should never get scared by looking at your opponents. Just give your 100% and don’t be scared of anybody. When I threw the javelin for the 2nd time, I thought it would be my best attempt. My back and shoulders were paining after the event the next morning.”

“I feel really good after coming back home,” Borgohain chimed in. “We knew people back home would be celebrating. We will keep trying and look to get more medals for India in the future.” “The last few days before my bout, I was only thinking about getting the gold for India. I only wanted the gold and that is what I will be trying to win in the Paris Olympics.” The minister had plenty of praise for the country’s Olympians, singling Chopra’s gold out as it broke a barren spell of well over 100 years when it comes to a track and field medal.

“This evening is for the Olympians who have made India proud,” he was quoted as saying. “I would like you all to cheer for them. On behalf of 130 crore Indians, I would like to congratulate our Olympians. We are so proud of you.” “Tokyo Olympics had many firsts for India. The biggest contingent of 128 athletes went there, we won 7 medals. Neeraj Chopra ended our 121-year wait for an athletics medal. Our national anthem was playing in Tokyo but Indians were celebrating here.”

“There is nothing bigger than the Olympics. From the entire nation, I would like to thank all our athletes and medal winners. These are the moments where you cannot express in words, you can only experience it,” former minister of sports Kiren Rijiju added. “From the Prime Minister to every kid in the country, the entire nation was cheering for India. The entire country was behind our Olympians. Thank you for uniting the country, we are all proud of what you all have achieved.

“We had a lot of other things prepared for you all before the Games, from food to everything you needed we had ready but Covid put all our plans down the drain.”

This year’s Olympic performance was India’s best but the country also stole first when it came to fan engagement online. A report claims India was the most vocal nation on Facebook and Instagram during the month-long Olympic Games.

Per data from Facebook and Instagram, India surpassed the United States and Brazil in conversations relating to the Olympics. Facebook recorded the highest pertinent engagement globally on August 7 and Chopra was the second-most mentioned performer on the social media platform, with American gymnast Simone Biles the most mentioned. Chopra also made quite the impression on Instagram as his following grew by 2.8 million during the event and he was first in mentions on there.

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