Neeraj Chopra: Don’t make a biopic on me yet
Neeraj Chopra’s outstanding performance at the Tokyo Olympics has made him the nation’s sweetheart! But, the javelin thrower is still in disbelief. “Pehla medal hai track and field mein, vo bhi gold. Main bayan nahi kar sakta kaisa feel ho raha hai. Zabardast shuruaat hui hai. I felt very proud when I was on the podium with the gold medal and the national anthem was playing,” says Chopra, who believes the future seems bright for athletics.
Ever since the 23-year-old from Panipat walked off the field with the tricolour on his back, there have been talks about what Chopra’s biopic would look like. And it becomes crucial to ask the bigger question: Who will he like to portray him onscreen? Skeptical to get a biopic made on him just now, the Olympian, says, “Don’t make a biopic on me yet. I’m still playing (the sport), and would like to continue doing so. I believe there are more stories to be added to my journey, and main chahta hun aur medal leke aaun. Jab tak career chal raha hai tab tak ruk jana chahiye (for the biopic). I want to focus on my game. I’d like it if a biopic is made on me, but after my journey is over and I retire from sports!”
Delighted at the love he has received on social media, in terms of millions of people following him overnight, Chopra says, “I saw I’ve gained many followers on social media. I use social media very sparingly, to share about my competitions or exercise videos. Kabhi kabhi enjoy karna bhi zaruri hota hai. It feels good to know that so many people watched my game and appreciated my performance.”
Soon after his victory, the athlete had dedicated his medal to legendary athletes late Milkha Singh, and PT Usha. “I had watched Milkhaji’s videos where he said that he wanted someone from our country to win a gold at the Olympics. Jab main stage pe tha toh maine yehi socha ki woh humare beech nahi rahe lekin unka sapna pura hua. PT Usha ma’am had also lost out on a medal by a whisker,” says Chopra.
A Subedar with the 4 Rajputana Rifles in the Indian Army, Chopra is now looking forward to celebrate his Olympic journey in India. “Whatever I had come to achieve here, I’ve achieved. Now, I just want to head home. Abhi wait hai maa ke haath ka khana khane ka, aur apne family ke saath celebrate karne ka. Then, I’ll start my training again,” says the track and field athlete, adding that the medal has made up for all the disappointments he had to face earlier: “Everything I had endured whether it was my elbow injury or the pandemic, this one moment made me feel like all my hard work has paid off. Standing in the field, with a gold medal in my neck, the Indian flag in front of me and the national anthem playing in the background, I forgot all those problems. Agar aise time se nikal ke maine gold jeeta hai toh woh time mere liye theek tha!”
Author tweets @bhagat_mallika