THE GOLD RUSH
India Today|October 04, 2021
Olympic gold medalist Neeraj Chopra’s dizzying success at Tokyo is only the first stop in his sporting journey. For Spice, the champion athlete retraces his steps through tough times to the present, where he lists shopping indulgences and shares his travel bucket list.
SUHANI SINGH

They say, “Life is a journey that must be travelled no matter how bad the roads and accomodations.” Neeraj Chopra’s journey to the top of the Olympic podium may have involved many a bumpy road and diverse accommodations, but it has always been an inspired one. It all began at the age of 13, when as a pudgy boy he’d take the bus from Khandra, a village in Haryana, to the Sports Authority of India facility in Panipat, located about 15 km away. “I’d return from school and immediately change into my exercise gear and head to the bus stand,” he says. Chopra recalls waiting for long spells for the bus since it was an hourly service. The return would be more complicated. With frequency reduced at night, he’d either hitch a ride on a bike or with a tractor driver. The arduous lifestyle—that also included a 1.5 km walk from the bus stand to the SAI centre, reaching home sometimes as late as midnight—didn’t vex him. “I am glad I never questioned why I needed to put myself through all of this? I just happily went about this daily routine,” he explains.

FAVOURITE ATHLETICS STADIUM

Hercules stadium in Monaco has been a favourite, but now Tokyo’s Olympic Stadium has overtaken, given that my life’s dream was fulfilled there.

He learned a lot in the process too. Patience is necessary, as is self-belief. “You should love the work that you are doing and do it with all your heart,” says Chopra, who moved to Panipat later to focus on sports. “It automatically becomes easier to do.”

FAVOURITE CUISINE

I love all Indian food. Going by the rush at the Indian restaurants abroad, I think everyone does. Recently I tried Japanese food in Mumbai and it was delicious.

GOING PLACES

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

RELATED STORIES

This Watchdog Looks Feisty Again

Under new management, the CFPB is knocking on banks’ doors and asking questions

4 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
March 29 - April 05, 2021

PRIYANKA CHOPRA JONAS JOINING AMAZON'S SPY SERIES ‘CITADEL'

Priyanka Chopra Jonas will star opposite Richard Madden in the U.S. edition of “Citadel,” a drama series to be produced in conjunction with programs from several other countries.

2 mins read
AppleMagazine
January 17, 2020

Contemporary Queen

Best-selling Ayurvedic author Sahara Rose Ketabi has made a life out of modernizing ancient wisdom.

10+ mins read
Yoga Journal
January - February 2020

Go for GOLD

UNRAVELLING NEERAJ CHOPRA: THE MAN, THE ATHLETE, THE HUMAN

9 mins read
The MAN
October 01, 2021

A forever kind of love

As Bulgari launches its India-exclusive mangalsutra, Lucia Silvestri, the brand’s jewellery creative director, discusses everyday jewellery, layering, and the brand’s most magnifi cent High Jewelry collection to date.

6 mins read
VOGUE India
September 2021

Golden arm

NEERAJ CHOPRA’S JOURNEY FROM TALENTED TEEN TO OLYMPIC CHAMPION

4 mins read
THE WEEK
August 22, 2021

A biopic can wait for now; there's more to come in my story, says Neeraj Chopra

Over the last two days, Neeraj Chopra has become a household name across the country. The 23-year-old from Panipat rewrote the history books by becoming the first Indian to win a track and field gold at the Olympics. In a brief chat from Tokyo, the Olympic champ talks to us about what he felt atop the podium, his decision to dedicate the medal to Milkha Singh and PT Usha, and responds awkwardly to queries about his biopic and new-found female fan following.

2 mins read
The Times of India Hyderabad
August 10, 2021

History scripted: PM leads nation in hailing Golden Boy

Proud Moment, Say Shah, Rajnath On Neeraj Chopra’s Tokyo Feat

2 mins read
The Times of India Hyderabad
August 08, 2021

POR UN CUERPO FELIZ

Body positivity es el movimiento que nos alienta a aceptar cada curva, cicatriz o detalle que nos hace únicas, permitiéndonos sentirnos plenas en nuestra propia piel. Para entenderlo y practicarlo conversamos con Deepak Chopra.

4 mins read
Vanidades México
Agosto 15 - 2021

The best bet

NEERAJ CHOPRA, THE REIGNING COMMONWEALTH AND ASIAN GAMES CHAMPION, COULD SCRIPT A NEW CHAPTER IN INDIAN ATHLETICS

2 mins read
THE WEEK
August 01, 2021