Tokyo Olympics bronze medalist Lovlina Borgohain is currently on cloud nine after witnessing the Independence Day celebration from the Red Fort itself on Sunday.
The Assam boxer — along with 240-odd Olympians, support staff, and SAI and sports federation officials — were invited to grace the Gyan Path in front of the Red Fort Ramparts.
Speaking to IANS, Lovlina said, “It was a fantastic experience. I have always seen the ceremony on TV and it was a bit surreal to be at the Red Fort and be part of our country’s celebration in the august presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other eminent personalities as well as fellow players. This day will surely be etched in my memory forever.”
She further said that her dream is to win the gold medal and become an Olympic champion as she is preparing for the 2024 Paris Games.
“I am not satisfied with my game. My dream is to win gold. I want to be an Olympic champion. My dream was to win gold in this Olympics. I had to be satisfied with the bronze medal. But I didn’t come empty-handed. Now I have to prepare for the 2024 Olympics,” she said.
Lovlina assured India of its second medal at the Tokyo Games after beating former world champion Chen Nien-Chin of Chinese Taipei in the quarter-final of the women’s welterweight boxing.
However, Lovlina’s quest for gold ended in the semi-final match. She became only the third Indian boxer to finish on the Olympic podium, joining two of the biggest icons in Indian boxing — six-time world champion MC Mary Kom (2012 London Olympics bronze) and the well-decorated Vijender Singh (2008 Beijing Olympics bronze).
Behind Lovlina’s brilliant performance over the years is decades of family struggle.
“My journey was really tough. Living away from your family for eight years is not an easy thing. My family supported me a lot and here I am. They motivate me and help in all ways,” she added.
Meanwhile, Mary Kom’s coach Chhote Lal Yadav also expressed his happiness to be pa”t of the function. “It is like a dream come true. Must say ‘Modi ji hai to mumkin hai’ (Modi makes it possible).”