Saikhom Mirabai Chanu – A Perfect Birmingham ‘Friendlies’ Mascot

An Olympic silver medal, two Commonwealth Games gold medals and a silver medal and other honors – Saikhom Mirabai Chanu is already a champion. But what defines the 27-year-old Manipuri weightlifter is the generosity she possesses even after so many laurels.

Sports News | CWG 2022 Coverage | Blog of day 3

The Commonwealth Games are often referred to as the “Friendly Games” and Saikhom Mirabai Chanu justified it precisely. After winning India’s first-ever gold medal at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham on Saturday, Mirabai Chanu stayed in the weightlifting arena for more than three hours which made the fans happy.

As all of India celebrated its gold, Mirabai Chanu was busy compelling the fans to the arena. She posed for photos, gave autographs and even participated in a shared challenge with a six-year-old supporter at the National Exhibition Center.

Mirabai Chanu was a perfect mascot for “Friendly Games”.

“Kya karu? Hand naa nahi bowl sakti. (What to do? I can’t say no). If the fans approach me with so much love, I can never say no. For me, the spectators are very important. It is thanks to them that this medal is so precious,” Mirabai Chanu told News Nine.

Mirabai Chanu is still the crowd favorite. Even when she was leading the 49kg field, the chants of “Mira, Mira, Oi, Oi, Oi” echoed throughout the stadium. As expected, Mirabai Chanu racked up a total of 201kg (88kg + 113kg) to mark her authority in the competition and set a Commonwealth Games record in the process.

“They have a different look on their face when they see me. And I like doing that. So for me it is important. I am really happy that people come to see me,” she added. India added three more medals that day, all in weightlifting.

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