Neeraj Chopra scripted history when he won India its first Olympic gold in the javelin throw.
Soon after he became the talk of the nation, with everyone, from celebrities to politicians to the local junta, chanting his name and reading his story.
It was a great honour to meet Hon'ble Prime Minister @narendramodi at his residence. Thank you for your active support to Indian sports and athletes 🇮🇳 pic.twitter.com/dtbgcFHOz3— Neeraj Chopra (@Neeraj_chopra1) August 18, 2021
धन्यवाद भाई साहब @RandeepHooda 🙏— Neeraj Chopra (@Neeraj_chopra1) August 28, 2021
किसा लागया मैं ?😂 https://t.co/Ln1sF6xCzd
Of course, his achievement on the field is worthy of all the honors bestowed on him and it is only natural for the nation to reward his hard work and determination with such widespread adulation. But, it’s his actions off the field, that have turned him into a bonafide star. Here’s why:
1. At a time when many sportsmen with far more experience have chosen silence, Chopra, at only 23, was quick to call out people indulging in hate-mongering and bigotry in his name.
I would request everyone to please not use me and my comments as a medium to further your vested interests and propaganda.— Neeraj Chopra (@Neeraj_chopra1) August 26, 2021
Sports teaches us to be together and united. I'm extremely disappointed to see some of the reactions from the public on my recent comments.
2. He actively cheered for our Paralympians and regularly tweeted in their support.
Congratulations @AvaniLekhara on such an amazing performance at your first #Paralympics and for giving us the opportunity to listen to the national anthem again in Tokyo! 🇮🇳 https://t.co/RwGqs7fPNI— Neeraj Chopra (@Neeraj_chopra1) August 30, 2021
Devendra bhai sahab: you are such an inspiration to all of us 💪! Congratulations on your 3rd #Paralympics medal! Many congratulations to Sundar bhai also for winning a 🥉 @DevJhajharia @SundarSGurjar pic.twitter.com/eiKxNPfAvM— Neeraj Chopra (@Neeraj_chopra1) August 30, 2021
ख़तरनाक performance भाई सुमित 👌💪 proud of you 🇮🇳 https://t.co/CNUDDtPAc7— Neeraj Chopra (@Neeraj_chopra1) August 30, 2021
3. He even urged people to offer support and encouragement to our Paralympians.
Best wishes to all athletes representing #TeamIndia at the Tokyo2020 Paralympics. Good luck to you all, and I urge everyone to back our para-athletes as they start their @Paralympics campaigns. 🇮🇳 pic.twitter.com/FbUiRV0q0o— Neeraj Chopra (@Neeraj_chopra1) August 24, 2021
4. Not just the Olympians, he has also cheered on the Junior World Champions and used his newfound fame and rising social media presence to bring due attention to their achievements.
Good luck and best wishes to all Indian athletes participating in the Junior World Championship starting today. I will be cheering them on as they compete against the best in the World!#WAU20Nairobi21 https://t.co/T9vIejEGjs— Neeraj Chopra (@Neeraj_chopra1) August 18, 2021
Tremendous start to India’s campaign at the Junior World Championships in Nairobi! Congratulations to Bharat, Priya, Summy and Kapil for winning a Bronze Medal for the nation 🇮🇳#WorldAthleticsU20 pic.twitter.com/9FkfS3V115— Neeraj Chopra (@Neeraj_chopra1) August 19, 2021
Many congratulations, Shaili! You came so close to Gold today, and I'm sure you have a long way to go 💪🏾— Neeraj Chopra (@Neeraj_chopra1) August 22, 2021
Congratulations to @anjubobbygeorg1 ma'am for your mentorship and guidance to Shaili 🙏🏽 https://t.co/05W7FPBfsV
5. Despite all the attention, he has continued to remain humble and constantly asked more people to pay attention to sports and play for the nation.
Truly humbled by this recognition, and hope it inspires many more athletes to make our nation proud 🇮🇳— Neeraj Chopra (@Neeraj_chopra1) August 27, 2021
Thank you, ASI Pune 🙏@adgpi pic.twitter.com/nrI4wSe9CQ
कल लखनऊ में हम Olympians को सम्मानित करने के लिए मैं माननीय मुख्यमंत्री @myogiadityanath जी और पूरे प्रशासन को तहे दिल से धन्यवाद करना चाहता हूं 🙏🏽— Neeraj Chopra (@Neeraj_chopra1) August 20, 2021
आशा है सभी उपस्थित युवक हमसे मिलकर खेल में आगे बढ़ने के लिए प्रेरित हुए हो। https://t.co/mnBiWRgPaD
6. At the same time, he also took a chance to point out the change that sports need in India.
“We can’t be satisfied with one Gold, We need to think at a global level”— Sparsh Sagar🇮🇳 (@sparshS17) August 26, 2021
Nation owes an apology to @Neeraj_chopra1 for all the cringe he had face to face in the form of events and ceremonies
7. He used his personal journey to encourage people who were struggling through tough times in their lives.
8. And he can definitely take a joke!
August 24, 2021
The kind of courage, commitment to the sport, and presence of mind that Neeraj Chopra has displayed make him a true champion, on and off the field.