At The Tokyo Olympics, Mirabai Chanu wins a silver medal in weightlifting Rice, sports club culture, and killer instinct help Manipur produce a World-class lifter like silver medalist chanu. 

Mirabai Chanu wins India’s first medal at Tokyo Olympics, when one of the greatest moments in weightlifting was being hosted into reality by the legendary karnam Malleswari, at the Sydney Games in 2000, the state of Manipur was laying the ground for their moment in the sun, albeit 21 years later, the state sent four different women weightlifter over five Olympics. Mirabai daikon Chanu’s monstrous 202 kg combined lift for the Tokyo Olympics silver medal in the 49 kg weight lifting category culminated in this generational effort.

Two decades of consistently churning out weightlifters that are among the best in the world in Manipur’. 

A way of life begins at a young age because of the state’s unique way of organizing sports for young children through clubs. Former commissioner of Youth affairs and sports for Manipur RL Nimai Singh tries to put this lay of the land into words when he says the sports club culture has been a part of Manipur for centuries now. These clubs might not necessarily be dedicated to a single sport. These clubs aren’t associated with any state or national associations. They are only present because they love sport and are an outlet of activity for young kids. For a Manipuri child, there is an option other than studying, and that is to play. 

The early life: 

In Manipur, children are allowed to decide what sport to play, what sport to play, and what sport to pick. As a result, by the time they reach their teens, they may not be specialists in a particular sport. Still, a consistent level of physical activity leads to a far easier transition than most young athletes when moving professionally into a discipline. 

As has been the case from the start of this century, a steady stream of women in weightlifting, heading to the farthest corners of the globe to compete in the best tournaments on offer, continues to fuel the desire for what is a casual aspect of life to become a center point.

What is the stage? 

When kids started to grow up, people began to realize that sport could be an earning profession. The Sports Authority of India center in Imphal suddenly allowed weightlifters to go from spare parts of automobiles as weights to actual imported equipment. Former weightlifters were also part of the change as their careers transitioned from athletes to coaches. 

Mirabai Chanu’s story trudges along the same lines, a 12-year-old child lifting heavy logs in her hometown of Nongpok ka-ching, 44 kilometers away from Imphal, who noticed by one day Anita Chanu, a former international weightlifter, and a coach. 

In the Tokyo Olympics 2020, Chanu won the silver medal. The first medal for India. 

What one chanu saw in the younger chanu was something most Manipuri experts in sport say is an intrinsic part of their cultural identity. 

When I saw her lift for the first time, she had a killer instinct. 

Explosive strength stresses chanu, who further explains by saying that people from the northeastern states of India are smaller in height but make up for it with a Maradona low center of gravity, a crucial aspect of why Manipur does so well in sport, be it weightlifting or. Football or boxing. That low center of gravity saw Mirabai pick almost four times her body weight across five successful lifts in snatch and clean and jerk categories. 

But it is not about height and body type or region that defines their abilities. The secret also lies in what is put in their bodies or what has been put into their bodies for generations. 

A few days back, on the eve of Indian sportspeople leaving for the Tokyo Games, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked athletes what they eat? The same questions should be invited to the Manipuri people. 

Most athletes in lower weight categories come from Asian countries Like China and South Korea. These countries are famous for sticky rice being part of their diet. 

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