Indian weightlifter Mirabai Chanu has won the prestigious BBC Indian Sportswoman of the Year award for 2020. The award acknowledges the outstanding achievements of Indian sportswomen who have made an indelible mark in the world of sports.
Mirabai’s win comes as no surprise to her fans and supporters, who have been admiring her grit and determination in the face of adversity. She has overcome multiple challenges in her career, including injuries and setbacks, to become one of India’s leading weightlifters.
Born in a small village in Manipur, Mirabai started lifting weights at a young age. She was inspired by the achievements of Kunjarani Devi, an Indian weightlifter who won multiple gold medals at the Commonwealth Games.
Mirabai’s talent was soon recognized by the Indian Weightlifting Federation, and she was selected to represent India at the international level. Her first major competition was the 2014 Commonwealth Games held in Glasgow, Scotland. Although she did not win a medal, she gained valuable experience and exposure.
Over the years, Mirabai continued to hone her skills and participated in several international competitions. In 2017, she won the gold medal at the Commonwealth Weightlifting Championships, setting a new national record in the process. She followed it up with a silver medal at the World Weightlifting Championships held in Anaheim, California.
However, her biggest achievement came at the 2018 Commonwealth Games held in Gold Coast, Australia. Mirabai won the gold medal in the women’s 48kg weightlifting category, creating a new Commonwealth Games record by lifting a total weight of 196kg.
The victory was particularly noteworthy as she had earlier suffered a back injury that had threatened to derail her career. Mirabai underwent intensive rehabilitation and training, and her hard work paid off in the form of this historic win.
Speaking about her victory, Mirabai said, “It was a dream come true for me. I had worked hard for this moment, and I am grateful for the support of my family, friends, and coaches.”
Since then, Mirabai has continued to make India proud with her impressive performances. In 2019, she won the gold medal at the World Weightlifting Championships held in Pattaya, Thailand, lifting a total of 201kg.
However, her hopes of a podium finish at the 2020 Olympics were dashed when the event was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Mirabai, like other athletes, had to adjust her training and competition schedules to accommodate the new realities of the pandemic.
Despite the challenges, she remained focused on her goals and continued to train hard. Her win at the BBC Indian Sportswoman of the Year award is a testament to her resilience and dedication to her sport.
Mirabai’s achievements have not gone unnoticed, and she has been the recipient of several awards and accolades. In 2018, she was awarded the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, India’s highest sporting honor. She was also named the Sportswoman of the Year at the FICCI India Sports Awards in 2019.
Her success has also inspired a new generation of weightlifters, especially young girls from rural areas, to take up the sport. Mirabai has become a role model for many young athletes, and her journey serves as a reminder of the power of hard work, determination, and perseverance.
In conclusion, Mirabai Chanu’s win at the BBC Indian Sportswoman of the Year award is a fitting recognition of her outstanding achievements in the world of sports. She has overcome numerous challenges to become one of India’s most celebrated weightlifters, and her success continues to motivate and inspire others. We wish her all the best for her upcoming competitions, and hope to see her bring more laurels to her country in the years to come.