Despite very less support from the Indian People as well as the Government, the ones who have never disappointed the Sports Fans are the Para- Athletes.
They have been extremely success in their respective games and have won numerous medals for India.
Let’s take a look at Top 5 Athletes who have performed brilliantly at the International Stage in various events.
• Mariyappan Thangavelu
Mariyappan is a Paralympic High Jumper and is a Gold Medalist at the 2016 Rio Paralympics.
At the age of 5 when he was going to school, a drunken driver ran over him with a bus thus permanently disabling his right leg.
Despite this horrible accident, Mariyappan didn’t give up and kept on with this education. He never considered himself as inferior to someone.
Determination was in his blood as he went on to complete his MBA Degree from AVS College.
He loved to play volleyball in school days, but his PE teacher asked him to try High Jump and that’s when this long journey started.
At the age of 20, his coach brought him to Bangalore for advanced training.
Within a time span of 1 year he cleared the Qualification round for 2016 Olympics. In the men’s high jump T–42 event he recorded a jump of 1.89m and thus won the Gold Medal.
His achievements are beyond the excellence. His determination and hard work was awarded with the Arjuna Award and Padma Shri Award in 2017.
• Deepa Malik
If proving yourself despite all odds would be a category, I would represent it with Deepa Malik.
She is the 1st Indian women to win a medal in Paralympic Sports. She achieved this in 2016 Rio Olympics when she won a Silver Medal in Shot Put. She is also a 3 time Bronze Medalist in Asian Para Games in Javelin Throw.
No one has ever been able to stop this lady from succeeding. She has records in Shot Put, Javelin Throw, Swimming, Discus Throw and Motorcycling as well.
Along with being a sportsperson, she is a great motivational speaker and has conducted many seminars.
She is also a Brand Ambassador of ‘Clean Indian’ project for NMDC.
Deepa is the recipient of numerous awards. Arjuna Award and Padma Shri are 2 of them.
Read More: Deepa Malik – Ability beyond Disability
• Devendra Jhajharia
Who would have thought that a boy whose leg got amputated due to a shock from an electric pole will go on to win 2 Paralympic Gold Medals!
He was spotted performing at a Sports Day in his school by his future coach and Dronacharya Awardee R.D Singh in 1997. He later trained under him and gives the complete credit of his 1st Olympic Medal in 2004.
Javelin Throw is the event in which Devendra represents India. His first big success came in 2004 Athens Olympics when he clinched a Gold Medal. He thus became the 1st Indian to win a Paralympic Gold Medal.
He went on to repeat his performance in 2016 Rio Olympics and also clinched a Gold Medal which was his 2nd in the competition.
Devendra was employed by Indian Railways. His wife Manu was a National Kabaddi Player.
Indian Government has awarded him Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, Arjuna Award and Padma Shri for his brilliant contribution in the field of Athletics.
• Varun Singh Bhati
Varun was affected by Polio at a very young age. He took interest in sports and started participating in it in school days.
His talent was picked when he was in St Joseph School Noida. He currently trains under SAI (Sports Authority of India).
He is a Bronze Medalist at the 2016 Rio Olympics in High Jump. He recorded his personal best of 1.86m in the Finals and thus won the Bronze Medal.
He is also a Silver Medalist at the 2018 Asian Para Games.
His grit and determination has brought him here. Varun is young and has a bright future ahead and Indians hope another medal from him at the 2020 Olympics.
He received his Arjuna Award from Ram Nath Kovind in August 2017.
• Ankur Dhama
Ankur Dhama is an athlete who represents India at the Para Championships in the events which are organized for Blind Athletes.
At the age of 5 he started facing problems with his vision. Treatments were done but had no impacts. By the age he was 6, he completely lost his vision.
He loved cricket and used to play the game for an entire day as he loved fielding.
He was selected by the Blind Athletes Association and he started participating in National Events. He further went on to win several medals at the World Youth and Student Championships.
He became India’s 1st blind Paralympian in 2016 Rio Olympics.
He has been awarded the Arjuna Award by the Indian Government.