Olympic Champion Neeraj Chopra gifted the javelin that helped him fetch the historic gold medal in Tokyo to the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland, on August 27.
Just the day before, the Haryana-born athlete hurled the spear to a distance of 89.08m to comfortably attain a historic first-place finish in the 2022 Lausanne Diamond League.
Chopra’s javelin was added alongside Olympic gold medal-winning shooter Abhinav Bindra’s rifle from the 2008 Beijing Games at the Olympic Museum.
This is being done with the aim of treasuring the Olympic legacy and inspiring future generations to take up sports.
Items donated to the Olympic Museum become symbols of their time, as they join what is a rich 120-year collection managed by the IOC’s Heritage Management team.
Neeraj’s solid throw of 87.58m in the final of the men’s javelin throw won him a historic Olympic gold medal in Tokyo on August 7 last year.
Speaking about now being a part of The Olympic Museum, Neeraj Chopra said:
"I'm grateful for this occasion. It is a privilege to join the hallowed galleries of The Olympic Museum, a space where the most iconic moments from Olympic history are showcased. For any athlete, it is a great honor to be able to inspire others."
From one legend to another, Abhinav Bindra has been prominently backing the champion either from the stands, via social medal, or otherwise too. The 39-year-old was also present when Neeraj extended his record-breaking spree to become the first ever Indian to win the Diamond League meet.
In the history of Indian sport, Abhinav Bindra and Neeraj Chopra are the only two athletes to win an individual gold medal at the Olympic Games.
Bindra, who is also a member of the IOC Athletes' Commission, was present during the monumental moment when Neeraj gifted his javelin to the Olympic Museum.
Speaking on the occasion, Bindra said:
"It is a pleasure to be able to witness this moment and share it with Neeraj."
Neeraj Chopra wants the nation to play sports throughout the year
Neeraj Chopra has now become the most recognisable face of Olympic sports in India. His gold medal at Tokyo has signalled a new era in Indian sports. However, the country has a long way to go and Neeraj believes more sporting activity is needed.
Writing on his Twitter page, Neeraj Chopra referred to the upcoming National Sports Day, which is celebrated on the birthday of, arguably, India's greatest sportsperson, Major Dhyan Chand.
He urged fans and the general public to use the occasion to get involved in sporting activity. However, he also expressed his desire to see his countrymen stay engaged with sports through the course of the year.
"To honour the legend Major Dhyan Chand, National Sports Day falls on August 29th, and I look forward to seeing India come out and play sport. Not just on that day, but through the year!"
Each time Neeraj Chopra speaks or competes, his words scream how passionate and hungry he is to make the nation proud and achieve everything that the sport of javelin has to offer him.
Despite having already achieved legendary status in the history of Indian sports with his gold medal in Tokyo, Neeraj continues to strive for improvement.
At the beginning of the season, he expressed his desire to breach the 90m mark. While he hasn't done that yet, it wouldn't be smart to bet against him achieving that in near future.