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From lifting firewood in childhood to being elevated at the international podium.

By Asif Alam
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From lifting firewood in childhood to being elevated at the international podium.

Since childhood, Mirabai was stronger than the kids of her age. Her family identified her strength when she was just12 and she could easily carry a huge bundle of firewood home when her elder brother found it hard to even pick it up. Since childhood, she was stronger and was passionate about the sport after her family found out about the gifted strength she had. Born in Metei family on 24th August 1994 in Nongpok Kakching 30 km away from Imphal Mirabai was very passionate about the sport. Chanu's first major breakthrough was at the Glasgow edition of the

Commonwealth Games; she won the silver medal in the 48 kg weight category. Chanu qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympics in the women's 48 kg category.

However, she failed to finish the event, owing to no successful lifts in any of her three attempts in the clean & jerk section. In 2017, she won the Gold medal in the Women's 48 kg category by lifting a competition record 194 kg in total in the 2017 World Weightlifting Championships held at Anaheim, CA, United States. She lifted a total of 196 kg, 86 kg in Snatch and 110 kg in Clean and Jerk to win the first gold medal for India in the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

En route to the medal, she broke the games record for the weight category; the effort also marked her personal best performance. She missed out on a bronze medal in the 49 kg category at the 2019 Asian Weightlifting Championships with a total lift of 199 kg, her personal best, as her Snatch weight was lower than the third-place athlete, both of whom had identical totals.

At the 2019 World Weightlifting Championships, Mirabai lifted a total of 201kgs (87kgs Snatch and 114kgs Clean & Jerk) to finish 4th. This personal best total also created a new national record in the 49kg category. She broke her personal record again four months later when she lifted 203kgs in the 49kg category to win the gold medal at the 2020 Senior National Weightlifting Championships.

In April 2021, she won the bronze medal at the 2020 Asian Weightlifting Championships in Tashkent where she lifted 86 kg in snatch and then created the world record by lifting 119 kg in the clean and jerk, for a total of 205 kg. In June 2021, She became the only Indian woman weightlifter to qualify for the 2020 Summer Olympics by securing the second position on the Absolute Rankings for the 49kg category.

She won the silver medal in the 49 kg division at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo with a total lift of 202 kg, becoming the first Indian weightlifter to win silver at the Olympics and the second Indian weightlifter after Karnam Malleswari to win an Olympic medal. A new Olympic record was registered by Chanu with a successful lift of 115kg in clean and jerk. Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh announced an award of ₹1 crore for her. Indian Railway Minister

Ashwini Vaishnaw announced an award of ₹2 crores, promotion and more for her. She has also been appointed as Additional Superintendent of Police (Sports) in the Manipur State Police.

 In today's world when women are shining on the world stage Mirabai is such an example coming from a simple background she went to bring the medal back home after 20 years. This proves that everyone has diamonds in them; it just requires polish to make it shine.