Neeraj Chopra was born into a modest family in the village of Khandra, in Panipat district, where agriculture was the primary occupation. Modern sports were virtually unknown here and Neeraj grew up as just one of the village boys playing in the fields. But at age thirteen he became the butt of jokes when he tipped the scales at around 75 kilos. Concerned, his family initiated 'Operation Neeraj Fitness' and sent him to Shivaji Stadium in Panipat every day so that he could engage in sports and lose weight.
It was here that Neeraj first encountered javelin throwing. Some older athletes encouraged him to give it a try, and to their astonishment, he displayed remarkable talent. Neeraj was hooked.