Government of Manipur and people of the State today accorded hero’s welcome to Tokyo Olympics Silver Medalist Km. Saikhom Mirabai Chanu. On her arrival at Bir Tikendrajit International Airport, Imphal at around 1:45 pm, Chief Minister Shri N Biren Singh along with Ministers, MLAs and a large number of people received her.
Later, the State Youth Affairs and Sports Department organized a colourful reception function in her honour with Chief Minister Shri N. Biren Singh as the Chief Guest, YAS Minister Shri Letpao Haokip as president and Deputy Chief Minister Shri Y. Joykumar Singh and Manipur Olympic Association President and MLA Shri Thokchom Radheshyam as guests of honour at the City Convention Centre, Imphal.
As announced earlier, the Chief Minister presented her a cheque of Rs. One crore and the appointment order for the post of Additional Superintendent of Police (Sports) to the ace weightlifter as rewards to her outstanding achievement. Moreover, Shri N. Biren Singh also handed over an added reward of Rs. 10 lakh for setting the world record in clean and jerk in 49 kg category at the 30th Asian Weightlifting Championships held in April this year at Tashkent (Uzbekistan). Education Minister Shri Sorokhaibam Rajen also rewarded her Rs. 3 lakhs for bringing laurels to the country and the State by clinching silver medal.
Speaking at the occasion, Shri N. Biren Singh said that Km. Mirabai Chanu’s triumph bears witness to the value of hard work and sincerity. Expressing hope that Km. Mirabai Chanu would continue working hard to achieve more success in future Games as well, the Chief Minister observed that her Silver Medal at Tokyo Olympics should be the stepping stone of more other milestones. He also asked her to work harder till she secures Olympic Gold Medal.
Stating that turnout of well-wishers could be more massive and the celebration could be more grandeur had there been not curfew due to COVID-19 pandemic, the Chief Minister said that another grand reception in honour of all the five athletes of Tokyo Olympics of the State would be organized by the Government when COVID-19 pandemic subsides.
Maintaining that the State has a sports policy to provide the much needed support to talented sports persons, Shri N. Biren Singh expressed hope that the State would be able to produce more successful players once the National Sports University starts functioning in full swing. The Chief Minister also announced that the State Government would begin a scheme to provide annual financial grants to the associations of the Olympic sports disciplines. He also added that a weightlifting academy with all necessary amenities would be set up in the State very soon so as to groom many future Olympians.
YAS Minister Shri Letpao Haokip said that Km. Mirabai’s success has once again testified to the world that Manipuris have the potential to stand tall in the world’s biggest sports event against toughest opponents. It is also an answer to all those who are against the idea of women empowerment, he added. Games and Sports is embedded in Manipuri culture and the State is home to several traditional games, and there is no argument that Manipur is the sports capital of the country as stated by President of India, Shri Ramnath Kovind, Shri Letpao Haokip said. He also mentioned different sports infrastructures constructed by the present Government.
Shri Th. Radheshyam said that Km. Mirabai Chanu brought laurels to the whole nation by dint of her hard work and determination. Stating that there is no dearth of talents in Manipur, Shri Th. Radheshyam observed that the State should focus on the sports disciplines, which are more suitable to the physique of the State natives.
Addressing the gathering, Km. Saikhom Mirabai Chanu said that she could win the medal because of the support of her parents, family members, friends and blessings of her mentors and coaches. It was because of the prayers of the people of the country and the State that she could stand on the Olympic podium, she said and added that she would like to dedicate the medal to the people of Manipur. Stating that her happiness knew bonds when Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Shri N. Biren Singh called her, the champion weightlifter said that it was like a dream talking to them after she won the medal. She said that she worked so hard after the Rio Olympics to achieve the feat.
Later, the Chief Minister along with the Deputy Chief Minister, Ministers and MLAs took Km. Mirabai Chanu to her office located near 2nd MR complex, Ragailong, and ushered to her seat of Additional SP (Sports).