Nobody will forget this brave lady cyclist from Manipur. She is Chabungbam Rameshori who has set many national records in Indian cycling history.
Rameshori came from a very humble family. She lost her father when she was very young and her mother had to look after the family. She started cycling when there was no cycling velodrome in Manipur. She found very difficult to buy spare parts of her cycle. But she was very strong inside and believed in herself. Manipur cyclists including herself used to train with old model of cycles which were not even used in training in most of other states at that time. Manipur cyclists used to compete in national championships with those cycles.
In her first national championship competition, she was afraid of cycling on the velodrome because she never trained in a velodrome. Luckily, some male cyclists and an experienced female cyclist assisted her to adjust to the velodrome. She quickly learnt in hours with practice before the actual competition and she won her first ever national title.
With 11 international medals and many national records to her name, Rameshori is one of the best cyclists India has ever produced. She is the first cyclist to have won a century of medals in cycling. She completed her 100th medal in her cycling career in the National Games 2015, Kerala. In the Games, she won 1 gold and 4 bronze medals.
Rameshori is not young like before, but her spirit is the same. She was cheered by the fans in the National Games 2015 competition by chanting with “20 years experienced Rameshori beats 20 years old Deborah”, the present best female cyclist of India. It may be mentioned that after many years of gap from cycling competition, Rameshori represented Manipur, that too being a mother of two children!!
Rameshori, now an inspector, is a name of inspiration for many young and upcoming cyclists. She lamented that many of best cyclists of India were from Manipur too, but they have all retired. “The present generation is young one. Though they are young, with hardwork and experience, they will shine again, because they have more facilities than our times”, she opined.
Rameshori has served Manipur and India many times. She has no plan of retiring soon. Whenever she sees any sports person wearing tracksuit, she wants to start playing (cycling). With the support of her husband, Ajit Oinam, an inspector, she wants to contribute to Manipur and India as much as she can.