The great Abhinav Bindra wrote Mirabai Chanu a message of thanks on Saturday, saying the Indian weightlifter's incredible feat will "act as a tiny memory of pleasure" at a time of COVID-19 pandemic. Bindra, who is India's only single Olympic gold medalist, also stated that the achievement will motivate future generations of Indians.
Chanu's accomplishment in the 48kg category on Saturday ended India's 21-year wait for a medal at the Games, as well as establishing the country's account in Tokyo on the first day of competition.
"Your outstanding performance in the Tokyo Olympics 2020 is sure to be remembered as one of the best by an Indian athlete at the Olympics Games and shall also serve as an inspiration for generations to come," Bindra wrote in the letter while congratulating her.
"During these rough times of the pandemic, when lives have come to an abrupt halt and mere survival has become an isolating task, victories such as yours will serve as a small reminder of the joy that hope and perseverance can bring."
26-year-old from Manipur raised a total of 202 kg (87 kilogrammes and 115 kilogrammes) to surpass Karnam Malleswari's bronze medal from the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
"In over a hundred years of our nation's participation in the games, only a special few have managed to experience the elation of standing at the podium. It is a reward for years of hard work and single-minded determination spend on perfecting your craft," Bindra wrote.
"All the sacrifices you made in your quest to bring glory to the nation will make this incredible milestone even sweeter."
"The journey to becoming the best in the world is rarely, if ever, undertaken alone, and I assure you that more than the laurels, you will remember fondly the moments you shared with your team and the camaraderie you developed with your fellow competitors," he wrote.
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