Prime Minister Narendra Modi Neeraj Chopra: Did you learn Punjabi, the Prime Minister asked Sreejesh; Praised Mirabai for remembering the truck drivers who helped her; Prime Minister Modi asked Sreejesh, have you learned Punjabi and do you appreciate Mirabai?
When Prime Minister Narendra Modi hosted the Olympians returning from Tokyo at his residence, veteran female boxer MC Mary Kom and top archer Deepika Kumari said they did not have to say ‘sorry’ for returning empty-handed, while hockey player P Sreejesh asked if he had learned ‘Punjabi’. . Modi also shared some laughing moments with the players, their coaches and family members at breakfast here on Monday.
Runner Duti Chand had exited in both the 100m and 200m in the first round and while introducing herself, Prime Minister Modi said, “If politicians listen to you, they will compete with you.” He said, ‘If you are from Odisha, how do you speak Hindi so well? India has a population of 1.3 billion, of which 65 per cent are young. Of these youngsters, only you (128 athletes from the country participated in the Tokyo Olympics) were able to represent the country. “It’s a success in itself,” he said. Your every effort is an inspiration and not just medal winners inspire others.
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Modi also told Neeraj Chopra, PV Sindhu and Lovelina Borgohan that the tools offered by them would be auctioned off. Modi asked Chopra, ‘You have put your signature here. I’ll auction it, no problem? Chopra smiled at this, who had given him the spear he used during the Tokyo Olympics. He asked silver medalist weightlifter Mirabai Chanu about her back pain which had happened to her sometime back.
Mirabai gave gifts to truck drivers who used to take her from her home to a training center in Manipur in her early days. Referring to this, the Prime Minister said, “You have not forgotten the people who helped you in your journey.” When Lovelina gave him a pair of boxing gloves, Modi said, “If I wear this, politicians will say that Modi is going to make a mess.” After asking Chopra to eat his favorite ‘churma’, the Prime Minister asked how he was so sure he raised his hand after throwing a second throw in the final?
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The Prime Minister asked the superstar spear thrower, ‘After the second throw, you were in a winning mood and you were celebrating. Were you sure ‘It was a surprise to me,’ he said. I can see that you have that balance. Victory does not go to your head, defeat does not go to your mind. Show me that balance. Chopra said the hard work gave him confidence and he was just focused on his performance.
Modi then told a story about former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, whose commentary on ‘Gulab Jamun’ was often given as a ‘sweet dish’ when he went to an event. He said, ‘Atalji once spoke about Gulab Jamun in a program and it came up in the newspaper. So whenever he was at an event, it was mostly Gulab Jamun. So later a circular had to be issued that some other things should also be given in their program.
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At the hockey players’ table, Modi asked Sreejesh that every time a wicketkeeper is shown on TV in cricket, people do not know about the hockey goalkeeper even after winning an Olympic medal. This time Mary Kom apologized that she could not bring the medal, when the Prime Minister said, “You have contributed a lot to Indian sports and it is because of you that the attention of women athletes in the country has gone.” You did a lot. ‘
When Deepika said ‘sorry’ for not getting the medal, Modi said, ‘Sorry, if you give up hope, there are no players.’ On the contrary, Modi grabbed the microphone to speak to Deepika. Modi then asked Indus coach Park Tai-sang, who is from South Korea, to visit Ayodhya. He said, ‘Have you gone to Ayodhya? The wife of the President of our country had come to Ayodhya as a special guest. You visit Ayodhya and learn its history.
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