From 'Lifting' Bamboo to Winning Golds for India: Jeremy Lalrinnunga's Story

Watch Jeremy Lalrinnunga speak about how he moved from weightlifting in Aizawl to the world stage in Argentina.

Olympic Sports
2 min read

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Weightlifter Jeremy Lalrinnunga became the first Indian to win a gold at the Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires earlier this month. The 15-year-old from Aizawl won the competition with a total lift of 274kg.

In an interview with The Quint, Lalrinnunga said that he wasn’t interested in weightlifting from the beginning.

I didn’t know that I would get into weightlifting from the beginning. Earlier, I used to box with my father. When a state academy for weightlifting was opened in Aizawl, I decided to try weightlifting, thinking it’s a game of strength. I started in October 2011 and I joined Army Sports Institute of Pune in January 2012. I only have one dream. I want to win an Olympic medal for India.
Jeremy Lalrinnunga

Lalrinnunga’s mother Lalmuanpuii expressed that it was hard for her when Jeremy left home at the age of 9.

When he was only 9 years old, he left for Pune. And I was very lonely then, I cried so many times. I felt as if I’ve lost my son. I counted many days with loneliness. Now that he has grown older and some years have gone since he left for Pune. Now we are somehow dealing with his long absence. But, still we are very mindful about our son calling him every night, and we would get very stressed if we don’t reach him everyday.

Lalrinnunga’s coach Malsawma explained why the beginners start weightlifting with bamboo sticks.

Initially everyone starts with lifting bamboos or small water connection pipes. The strength and force of each and every part of our body such as shoulder, waist, legs and arms should be supportive of each other’s force thus helping them improve. Since we have students from a young age group, it is important that we are aware of their capabilities and fragility. The full contribution from different parts of their body helps them in their weightlifting career.

(This story is being republished from The Quint's archives ahead of Jeremy's gold medal fight in the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games.)

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