August 7, 2021 is a date that will be forever etched in history. Neeraj Chopra, who became a household name in India overnight, secured India's second-ever individual gold medal in Olympic history, the first-ever in athletics.
The golden boy of India has since then been howered with praises and prizes. From cash rewards to free travel facilities – it is raining rewards for the star javelin thrower from Panipat.
PT Usha, the golden girl of Indian athletics, took to Twitter to congratulate the gold medallist. Usha, who finished fourth in 400m hurdles at the 1984 Summer Olympics, posted a picture of Chopra and herself and wrote, "Realised my unfinished dream today after 37 years. Thank you, my son." PT Usha, nicknamed the Payyoli Express was favourite for a podium finish but narrowly missed the bronze medal in the 1984 Games.
Praises From One Champion To Another
Abhinav Bindra, the first individual gold-medallist of India, also tweeted his appreciation for the second person to achieve the feat. "Take a bow young man! You have fulfilled a nation's dream. Thank you. Also, welcome to the club – a much needed addition! Extremely proud. I am so delighted for you," he wrote on Twitter before sharing a video of himself congratulating Chopra for clinching the gold medal. Bindra had won India's first-ever individual gold medal in men's 10m air rifle shooting at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Cash Rewards From Haryana and Punjab
After the stellar performance by Chopra, the chief minister of Haryana and Punjab has announced cash rewards to the 23-year-old. Manohar Lal Khattar, CM of Haryana, announced ₹6 crore cash reward and class 1 category state government job to Neeraj Chopra. The Haryana CM has also promised to build a Centre for Excellence for athletes in Panchkula, and Chopra will be the head if he wants. Captain Amarinder Singh, the CM of
Punjab, recognised the brilliant performance by Neeraj Chopra and announced a special cash reward of ₹ 2 crore.
BCCI Offers Prize Money To All Tokyo Olmypics Medallists
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) also announced a cash reward of ₹1 crore to Chopra for winning the gold medal. BCCI secretary Jay Shah in a tweet announced a cash reward for all of India's Tokyo Olympics medal winners. The tweet noted that the sole gold medallist Neeraj Chopra would be rewarded with ₹1 crore, and Mirabai Chanu and Ravi Kumar Dahiya, the two silver-medallists, will be given ₹ 50 lakh. The three bronze medal winners, PV Sindhu, Lovlina Borgohain and Bajrang Punia, will receive a cash reward of ₹25 lakh from BCCI. The Indian men's hockey team, which won its first Olympic medal after 41 years, will be rewarded with ₹1.25 crore.
CSK's Special Jersey For Neeraj
Later on Saturday, the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Chennai Super Kings (CSK) also announced a cash reward of ₹1 crore for the star athlete. The franchise has also announced it will be creating a special jersey with the number 8758 as a tribute to Chopra's gold-medal winning throw of 87.58 metres.
IndiGo Offers Free Travel
India's one of the largest airlines company, IndiGo airlines, has also gifted Neeraj Chopra unlimited free tickets for one year. Ronojoy Dutta, the CEO of IndiGo, said that they were delighted to hear about Neeraj's remarkable achievement. "You have made the country proud, and I know all IndiGo employees would be truly honoured to welcome you onboard one of our flights," he said. The star javelin thrower will be allowed to travel for free on IndiGo flights till August 7 next year. Elan Group, a Gurgaon-based realty firm, also announced a ₹25 lakh cash reward for the Olympic gold-medallist. Rakesh Kapoor, the Chairman of Elan Group, said in a statement, "We congratulate Neeraj Chopra on this achievement which has made the country proud."