If you have opened your country’s medal tally in the world’s most significant sporting arena, the Olympics, you deserve a lifetime of your favourite food – be it pasta or pizza.
Weightlifter Mirabai Chanu’s feat of opening India’s medal tally in the Olympics and breaking the country’s 21-year-long wait for a medal in the sport, has catapulted her into a national icon. And, when this diminutive champion expressed her longing for a pizza to an Indian TV channel since it is her favourite food and she hadn’t had one for a long time, Domino’s Pizza India swung into action and promised her “pizzas free for a lifetime”, said media reports.
After a distressing debut at the Rio games in 2016, Chanu had worked hard with a single-minded focus on her sport for this Olympic medal, never taking a single “cheat day’ from her training and making a lot of sacrifices. One of the sacrifices being giving up on her favourite food –pizza.
The champion weightlifter who was ecstatic after her triumph in Tokyo and couldn’t stop smiling, told NDTV, “The first thing I will do is to have a pizza. I love pizzas and I haven’t had one in a long time.” And, added that she had waited for this day (her Olympic victory) for a long time, “so first I’ll have a pizza,” she said.
Also, Chanu added that she would have loved to have a party but the village rules were strict. Instead, she would opt to have a pizza after being on a strict diet for months, said a Hindustan Times report.
The NDTV report stated that tweeting the NDTV post in which Chanu can be heard confessing her love for the fast food, Domino’s Pizza wrote, “Mirabai Chanu, Congratulations on bringing the medal home! You brought the dreams of a billion+ Indians to life and we couldn’t be happier to treat you to FREE Domino’s pizza for life. Congratulations again!”
@Mirabai_chanu Congratulations on bringing the medal home! ???You brought the dreams of a billion+ Indians to life and we couldn’t be happier to treat you to FREE Domino’s pizza for life ??
Congratulations again!! #DominosPizza #PizzasForLife #Tokyo2020 #MirabaiChanu https://t.co/Gf5TLlYdBi
— dominos_india (@dominos_india) July 24, 2021
Twitter users jumped in to applaud the gesture by Domino’s. And one user joked that this kind of largesse by the American pizza chain was enough to get him to start exercising.
Another user joked, “Even I have completed the Helicopter Mission in GTA Vice City. Isn’t it an accomplishment?” While a sports commentator asked, “what about us?”
According to the HT report, a twitter user tagged Domino’s Pizza asking them to send Mirabai Chanu a pizza whenever she returns to India and the user would pay for it. And, Dominos replied that ‘aapne kaha, aur humne sunn liya’ (you said it and we heard you) and added that “we never want mirabai chanu ever to wait to eat again, so, we treating her to free Domino’s pizza for life.
Even as we prepare to give #MirabaiChanu a hero’s welcome and let her eat pizzas to her heart’s content, our Imphal team went to her house to congratulate her family with what else but Domino’s Pizza @dominos_india. Congratulations @mirabai_chanu you have done India proud! pic.twitter.com/IsGry24pFZ
— Pratik Pota (@pratikpota) July 24, 2021
Meanwhile, Pratik Pota, chief executive officer and whole-time director of Jubilant Foodworks, the company that operates the pizza chain in India, also tweeted about Chanu’s love for pizzas. He wrote that even as the nation prepares to give Mirabai Chanu a hero’s welcome and let her eat pizzas to her heart’s content, their Imphal team visited her house to congratulate her family. And, gifted Domino’s Pizza to them.
Chanu made the nation dance with joy after she clinched a silver medal in the women’s 49kg weightlifting category at the ongoing Tokyo Olympics 2020. After her win, she has less than two days left in the Games Village since COVID protocols demand that all athletes leave Tokyo 48 hours after they wrap up their event.
The happy weightlifter will kick off her celebrations by tucking into her pizza after spending months sticking to her strict nutritional plan.
According to media reports, the 26-year-old’s calm, happy demeanor at one of the most key sporting events of her career, was one of the remarkable aspects of Chanu’s performance. However, Chanu said that she had been so sad after losing at Rio Olympics, she decided to work with a psychologist asking herself why did it happen to her?
She had understood that it was her first Olympics and the pressure was different. So, she prepared better for Tokyo, and she said that what she had achieved in Tokyo was because of that failure in Rio. “I covered all the bases here in Tokyo,” she said.