With a win over Chinese Taipei’s Chen Nien-Chin in the quarter-final, boxer Lovlina Borgohain threw the entire country into euphoria. Lovlina, a former kickboxer, has put her town of Baromukhia on the map of the Olympics, but her path has not been without its challenges.
The 23-year-old pugilist is reported to have taken boxing as a vocation after being inspired by Muhammad Ali. She received her training at the Army Sports Institute in Pune.
Not only is she a professional athlete, but two of her sisters are as well. In fact, Lovlina won a gold medal in Muay Thai in the national championships. Her parents, on the other hand, had to overcome several obstacles to guarantee that the daughters receive the greatest possible assistance in pursuing their goals.
Lovlina’s father Tiken Borgohain stated: ‘The biggest joy for us is to watch Lovlina play and the medal she brings from Tokyo will be our prized possession. When her mother suffered kidney failure, she was worried and would not sleep at night worrying about her. When we got the donor, she wanted to be with her. Even though she was able to spend only two days, she made sure she supported the family. It was a second life for my wife and to see Lovlina return with a medal from Tokyo will be a cherished moment for all of us after all the tough times.’
When asked about the financial difficulties his family had in training the children, Tiken revealed they took out high-interest loans a few times to guarantee Lovlina and her sisters received the necessary help.
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‘Apart from owning a small farm, I worked in a tea garden near our village and used to earn Rs 2500 per month. With Lima and Licha pursuing martial arts and later Lovlina too opting for martial arts, managing the finances was tough. But I wanted my daughters to play whatever sport they liked. In the initial days, my wife would also take loans from Rs 50,000 to Rs 1.5 lakh from the village cooperative society and we would pay the installments weekly with a high-interest rate. But somehow, we managed and to see them compete made us proud,’ Tiken added.
Lovlina may have secured a bronze medal for India in the Tokyo Olympics, but she isn’t resting on her laurels. She’s on the hunt for the elusive Gold.
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