After Neeraj Chopra became the first-ever World Athletics Championship gold medalist, he created history yet again. The Javelin thrower has made us proud time and again, and it’s not just because of his incredible performance. He’s just as incredible a person. Understandably, we all want to hear more from a person and player of his stature – his life, work and more.
This Reddit AMA after his Olympic victory is one way to do that:
1. How is training for Javelin different from other sports?
“Humari excercise bilkul alag hoti hai. Waise throwers mein weight category nahin hoti hai, but humein diet ka dhyan rakhna hota hai, ki kitna protien ya vitamins ki zaroorat hai.”
2. What conversations do you have before the game?
“Tournament ke pehle humari performance ke baare mein hi baat hoti hai. Aise pressure mein daalne wali baatein nahin, hum koshish karte hain ki ek dusre ko relax kar sakte hain.”
3. How did you recover from your injury?
“Meri elbow mein pain hota tha, and maine seriously nahin liya. Jab usme swelling aa gayi, tab doctor ne bola ki surgery hi option hai. Mai soch raha tha World Championship mein achha karunga, but injury ki vajah se mai participate nahin kar paaya. Par mere rehab mein mai khush tha.”
4. How was your experience working on the CRED ad?
“Aap sab log bol rahe ho ki maine achcha kiya hai. Toh aage aur mauka aayega, toh mujhe hausla milega aur achha karne ka. Aap koi bhi kaam kar rahe ho toh usse khush ho kar karo, mai bass yehi maanta hoon.”
5. What is Haryana doing better than the rest of the states, given that more athletes are from Haryana?
“Haryana ka khana bohot hi achcha hai. Upar se jo bache hain wo kaafi inspired hain. Aap kabhi bhi Haryana mein kisi gaon ke pass se nikloge toh subah 4-5 baje, bacho ke pass ground nahin hain isliye wo sadak par running karte hain, apna workout karte hain. Wahan pe ek culture hai sports ka.”
6. How do you keep in touch with your friends and family when you’re away for long?
“Starting mein mai gaya tha, toh lagta tha ki hum bhi ghar mein rehte. Uske baad, ek athlete ki life bohot simple si ho jati hai. Training karni hoti hai, aur khud hi khana banana hota hai, toh itna time hi nahin milta tha ki kahin aur dhyan jaaye. Family bhi samajh jaati hai, ki kaam hai.”
7. What was it like to perform without the spectators at the Olympics, given the pandemic?
“Kaafi hausla dete hain spectators aapko. Iss baar humein pehle hi pata tha ki wo nahin hone wala hai. Toh hum ready ho gaye the uske liye. Ajeeb sa toh lag raha tha kyunki jo josh fans ke saath hota hai wo akele mein nahin aata.”
8. How do you know that your throw would reach far, even before it reaches?
“Mujhe 10 saal se upar ho gaye hain iss sport mein. Koi bhi athlete hai, ya koi student hai jo ek hi cheez ko practice kar raha hai, wo confident ho jata hai. Toh mujhe bhi aise feel ho jata hai, aur main already celebrate karne lagta hoon.”
9. How do other countries and India differ in advanced training?
“Bahar jo diet hota hai wo healthy hota hai. Dusri baat hai ki bahar pollution kam hai. Aur bahar coaches and stadiums dono hi zyada sankhya mein hote hain. Toh bacho ko aasani ho jaati hai, decision making mein. Yaha pe kahin na kahin thodi kami hai, jo hum improve kar sakte hain.”
10. If not Javelin throw, what other sport or profession would you be interested in?
“Javelin throw karne se pehle mai gaaon mein Vollyball khelta tha. Ab main kabhi kabhi discus throw karta hoon. Mujhe lagta hai aur koi sports, jismein main better kar sakta tha wo yehi hain. Dusri field ki baat karoon toh mujhe photography kaafi pasand hai. Wo karna mujhe achha lagta hai.”
Always a humble person.