Neeraj Chopra created history on the penultimate day of the Tokyo Olympics when he won a historic gold medal in men’s javelin. Chopra not only became the first Indian to win a track and field medal at the Olympics but also became only the second individual gold medallist from India.
While he was renowned for his heroics on the field even before the elusive gold medal, there was one other thing that Neeraj Chopra was known for, it was his beautiful long locks. When asked whether his long locks were inspired by Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan or Indian cricketer Ishant Sharma, Chopra said with an understated conviction, “Neither.“
“Koi nhi hai ji! Main khud hi apne baal lambe rakhta hun (No inspiration. I like keeping my hair long),” he said.
“Without hardships, we wouldn’t have the zeal to achieve something,” Neeraj Chopra
Chopra not only became the first Indian to win a track and field medal at the Tokyo Olympics but also became only the second individual gold medallist from India. Neeraj’s massive second throw of 87.58m saw him clinch the gold medal creating history. The Olympic champion feels the hardships he faced early on forged the champion he is today.
“Hard work, I feel, is very important. If my family would have had catered to all my needs. Had they said that we will drop you at the stadium, you practice for a bit and return home, eat some delicious dishes and rest. If I would have got all the facilities with such ease, I wouldn’t have worked hard.“
“So, I feel the hardships I faced during my journey were crucial. If someone gets everything, all their needs are fulfilled easily, then we wouldn’t have the zeal to achieve something,” Chopra said on KBC.
Having conquered the Olympics, Neeraj Chopra has no intention to slack off. The 23-year-old has set his eyes on the upcoming competitions. Neeraj shares that having celebrated his victory at the Tokyo Games, he is back to his daily grind. And is looking to gain some momentum ahead of the 2024 Paris Olympics.
“I have won a Gold medal in the Olympics. Next Year, I will be performing in the World Championship, Commonwealth games, Diamond league. After three years, again there will be Olympic games. These events will continue year after year. I look forward to performing in these events.”