Neeraj Chopra In Fit India Champions Podcast: ‘Never Got Mentally Down When People Made Fun Of My Weight’

Feb 10, 2024

The man behind the javelin revolution in India, Neeraj Chopra, is known for his humility despite achieving athletics icondom. The golden boy talked about his life journey in the second episode of 'Fit India Champions' podcast released on Saturday. From an overweight youth to a world champion, Chopra talks life, career changes. The first episode on January 27 featured archer Sheetal Devi without an arm.

A flagship program of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Fit India Mission is an effort to spread the virtues of physical and mental well-being. The 'Fit India Champions' podcast series aims to spread the good word through conversations with athletes and health influencers who are serving as catalysts for change.

The 10-episode podcast series is in partnership with GOQii, a leading stakeholder in the fitness sector that proactively manages health through its digital and multimedia technology. The episodes are streamed live on digital platforms.

Neeraj Chopra's journey to Tokyo Olympic gold was not destined to happen as he was obese at that time and no one believed that he would make a mark in the sport. However he kept believing in himself and 2011 was the beginning of a new journey in life.

“When I was younger I was extremely obese and people kept telling me that I couldn't take up sports because of being obese and overweight. However, hearing all this never made me feel mentally dejected. I wanted to bring about a change in my body. Wanted and wanted to improve it.

“Everything changed when I went to the stadium in 2011 and learned to throw the javelin,” Chopra revealed in his conversation with Mrs. Ekta Vishnoi, podcast host, Mission Director of Fit India and Deputy Director General of the Sports Authority of India.

“That's when my journey started and in 2021, I won the gold medal in Tokyo. I am happy to give my 100 per cent. The medal was an added bonus but I just wanted to be happy with my performance,” Chopra said.

Chopra, a firm believer in the desi Indian diet, stressed the need for fitness. “Hon'ble Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi ji has given a clarion call for 'fitness ki dose, aadha ghanta roz' (minimum 30 minutes of fitness activity per day), but you can also go beyond 30 minutes of training time per day. You can go for outdoor exercise and even do mat workout at home. It is not necessary to have a gym for this.''

As she prepares to defend her yellow metal at the upcoming Paris Olympics, Chopra said India is performing very well in many sports and praised the upgrading of sports science facilities at various centres.

Chopra said, “Every sport from chess to archery, shooting and athletics is growing rapidly in the country. I am also particularly impressed by (long jumper) Srishankar Murali and (steeplechaser) Avinash Sable. India is good in all sports. Performing.” mentioned.

“Sports science facilities are also growing. New technologies have been installed at the SAI center in Patiala, where I train, from state-of-the-art fitness testing machines to recovery equipment and state-of-the-art javelin throw machines. With a lot of progress being made, we We are in a very good position to challenge the European athletes.”

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