A railway employee, K.V. Koteswara Rao, from the South Central Railway (SCR) zones Vijayawada division contributed his bit as a masseur, dietician and personal cook in grooming Mirabai Chanu, Indias weight lifting silver medallist in the Tokyo Olympics.
“In 2018, during Indian national weightlifting camp at Patiala, he (Rao) met Chanu,” said a railway zone official on Friday.
On receiving a call from Vijay Sharma, chief coach, Indian weight lifting team back then, he extending his services.
“Rao helped Mirabai with stretching exercises and massage therapies during her preparation for several international level competitions,” she said.
Impressed by his loyalty, discipline and trustworthiness, Sharma personally insisted in 2019 to assist Chanu as his personal cook as well, including monitoring her diet plan along with daily stretching activity and massages.
“He daily prepared dishes with great care and consciousness to her 49 kg category which requires more protein,” the official noted.
Rao also accompanied the weight lifting champion to several international competitions in Melbourne, Samoa, Thailand and other places.
However, the Coronavirus pandemic emerged as a dampener, limiting the number of support staff to accompany elite athletes abroad.
According to the railway zone official, Rao developed a close brother-like bond with Chanu.
He said the weight lifter is always humble, obedient and focused on her goals. Rao is eagerly waiting to join Chanu at the national camp in Patiala soon. –IANS