- An Indian boxer who won bronze in Tokyo will be rewarded by the government with a new road to her village.
- Lovlina Borgohain lives in Assam's Golaghat district, where roads are often destroyed by floods.
- Borgohain's father, Tiken, described the new road as a "a gift for the entire village."
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Winning an Olympic medal often comes with great rewards: money, fame, houses, endorsement deals, and sometimes even cows.
But one Indian boxer will receive perhaps the strangest gift of them all: a new road to her house.
Lovlina Borgohain took bronze in the women's welterweight competition last week, and will come to a freshly paved road up to her home in the Assam region of India.
The 23-year-old's bronze was just her country's third medal of the Tokyo Games and its third boxing medal in Olympic history, and local authorities wanted to celebrate that triumph in style.
After securing her medal, Biswajit Phukan, a member of India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), announced that it will be repairing the road that leads to Borgohain's house to celebrate her achievement.
Borgohain lives in the village of Baromukhia in Assam's Golaghat district, located in the far north west of India. The road leading to her home is made of dirt and turns to mud in the rain.
According to The Times of India, villagers are working overtime to ensure the 3.5km long road is ready and passable by car for when Borgohain returns.
"This new road will be our gift to Lovlina," said Phukan.
-ANI (@ANI) August 4, 2021
Borgohain's father, Tiken, described the new road as a "a gift for the entire village."
"It's a village road, so it keeps getting wrecked every time it rains. It's been like this for as long as I can remember," he told VICE.
"Sometimes, it would be riddled with potholes. I've taken my kids on my motorcycle on that road, and it was impossible to ride on."
Words of congratulations have poured in on social for Borgohain following her Olympic bronze, including from the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind.
"With your hard work and dogged determination, you have done the nation proud," he wrote on Twitter.
"Your Bronze medal in boxing at the Olympics Games will inspire the youth, especially young women, to battle with challenges and turn their dreams into reality."
-President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) August 4, 2021
Borgohain replied by saying: "Thank you Honorable President sir for your encouraging words, I shall strive harder and try to bring more glory to the country."
India has had a disappointing Olympic Games, winning just five medals in total - two silver and three bronze, placing it 64th in the medal table as of Thursday.