Updated: Aug 11
"Those who win never quit, those who quit can never win "
Roy T Bennett, author the Light of Heart
He is no quitter! Asia's strongest man also says cycling is the way to go "The future is definitely in cycling, which is a healthy and environment friendly sport", says the champion. He should know! Manoj Chopra is an unusual sportsman and a keen cyclist ! One who won laurels for India in a completely unexpected sport which was not even known to most Indian sportsmen involving muscle and stamina. No, not boxing, wrestling or Sumo wrestling. It is world Strongman sports where the competitor is supposed to complete a a variety of strength-based activities.
"I am cycling regularly nowadays and I am finding the activity as a vigorous but joyous one' he says. His routine is the cycle at least ten kilometers on a steady pace almost everyway.. I would certainly recommend cycling to athletes from e very sport, he advises based on his own passion in his chosen sport, Strongman competition involves
activities like pulling a heavily laden truck, sports plane, tossing a sandbag, blowing a hot water bottle, deadlift, walking long distances, breaking heavy objects and such other innovative way to test your prowess .
Manoj Chopra is the unlikely champion of this global sport promoted by World StrongMan Federation of Austria, an organisation promoted by World Strongman Federation ("WSF") of Austria, a worldwide organization within strength athletics, founded by Vlad Redkin, a prominent figure in the history of the International Federation of Strength Athletes and World Strongman Cup Federation.
For someone who was making and selling sweets, it was a sweet irony that a sudden business set back and subsequent migration to a big city to look for a living, the sport provided stardom of sorts and also made him a completely fulfilled person who was able to contribute big time to society by motivating prisoners in a whopping 200 places, and energizing the athletes taking up muscle sports like boxing, weightlifting and related fields.
It all started with a chance TV show the strongman of India was watching in television in one of the bored evenings. He saw the grand finale of the World Strong Man Federation and it occurred to him there were no Indians pursuing the sports "We are a country where practically every village and small town has the native gym and sports instructor or "pahelwan" who would be teaching the youth to wield heavy weights, use long sticks for martial sports and do long hours of exercise", Manoj Chopra avers.
The principle of Mind Body and Spirit which is central to the Indian philosophy of life as practiced in these centers often run by pious men, needed exposure to the world in some form, Manoj thought. As he researched the WSF work, he realized why not he himself be the one to compete in the world arena. Things fell in place quickly, and Manoj Chopra was declared the strong man of India in the year 2000. "I never expected that I will earn the title of strongman of India", Manoj recalls. The road to the title was not easy for the former Halwai, who even though had a natural body weight and strength needed highly nutritious meals and an exercise regimen which most ordinary sportsmen could shudder to undergo.
What is worse is not just food and healthcare while training, but getting sponsorship for such unusual sports is also a big challenge for most Indian athletes. Manoj Chopra was no exception when he hoped to participate in the 2004 WSF cup that was being held in Austria. With barely two weeks to go before the actual event, Manoj could not muster up much sponsorship nor was he getting any assistance from the Indian sports authorities, In sheer despair he wrote to the Federation itself expressing his inability to partic8pate and to his surprise he not only got the travel grant also substantial amounts of assistance to see him through the whole trip. That he made the trip and also put India to the world list of strongmen is history. Of course Manoj is no exception, there have bee many athletes including Olympic medal winners having the same complaint which speaks volumes about the ills foreboding Indian sport.
The spirit of sportsmen however never wanes! Now Manoj chopra the strongman of India is a convert to cycling and feels "cycling is one of the best ways to keep fit in our field". Cycletofuture.com is proud to p
rovide a cycle for this famous sportsperson who gained his title with his dint of handwork and amazing will power.
A www.cycletofuture.com feature