Olympic champion javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra was on Wednesday awarded the CNN-News18 Indian of the Year 2022 honor for his contribution to the field of sports and for making the country proud worldwide. The 24-year-old from Haryana, who attended the IOTY’s 12th edition, said he is giving his best to make the nation proud and feels great to see that more youths have taken up athletics.
“Children have a passion for sports in Haryana. There is a sports culture in the state. People aspiring to achieve should put their 100 per cent effort and definitely, they will be able to set examples,” he said after receiving the award.
When Neeraj was asked about how he feels being the youth icon, the Olympics gold medalist said, “It feels great to see youngsters take up athletics. It is a special feeling.” To another question by the audience related to his determination and hardwork, he said, “Working hard in the stadium is our meditation. We work hard for over 8-10 hours there.”
“Feels great to see youngsters take up athletics, it’s a special feeling”: India’s ‘Golden Boy’ @Neeraj_chopra1 on being the youth icon, how he handles stress in times of crisis, his favourite movie and more
— News18 (@CNNnews18) October 12, 2022
Neeraj rose to fame with his success at the Tokyo Olympics 2020 where he bagged the gold medal in the men’s javelin event. He became only the second Indian to win gold at Olympics in an individual sport.
Those who have been awarded today in their respective categories were – actor Allu Arjun (entertainment), Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath (politics), eco-activist Marimuthu Yoganathan (climate warrior), India’s star javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra (sports), Dr Shankare Gowda (social change) and Zoho Corporation’s co-founders Sridhar Vembu and Tony Thomas (startups).
Meanwhile, actor Sonu Sood was awarded Special Achievement award for his social work, while tennis player Sania Mirza was honoured with Outstanding Achievement Award at the function.
Actor Ranveer Singh was also honoured with Outstanding Achievement award at the event in the presence of former skipper and 1983 World Cup winner Kapil Dev.
Philanthropist Kulsum Shadab Wahab was given a ‘Special Mention’ award for working with survivors of acid attacks.
About CNN-News18 IOTY Awards
The 12th edition of the CNN-News18 Indian of the Year awards took place in Delhi and was graced by Union Ministers Piyush Goyal, Smriti Irani, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, and Anurag Thakur. Others prominent personalities such as Kapil Dev, Sania Mirza, Ranveer Singh among others were also present to either receive or present the awards.
CNN-News18 had launched the IOTY awards in 2006 to felicitate the achievements of people who have immensely contributed to the country.
Over the years, the award recipients have included the likes of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, cricketer Virat Kohli, Indian women’s cricket team, NGO stop acid attacks, chess grandmaster Vishwanathan Anand, music composer AR Rahman, former PM Manmohan Singh, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi, boxer-politician MC Mary Kom, Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone, Tata Sons chairman N Chandrasekaran and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
CNN-News18 Indian of the Year 2022 has RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group as the Presenting Partner and Reliance Industries as the Co-Presenting Partner.