Just a few days after the amazing achievements of Sakshi Malik, P.V. Sindhu and Dipa Karmakar in the Rio Olympics, India has a reason to celebrate again. The Paralympics games are currently going on in Rio and India has definitely created it’s niche. A total of 17 Indian para-athletes have participated in the games and we have already bagged two medals.
Mariyappan Thangavelu, who is only 20 years old, has won the gold medal and Varun Singh Bhati has won the bronze in the men’s high jump T-42 event. The T-42 is a disability classification where the athletes have an impairment in the lower limb due to limb deficiency, leg length difference, impaired muscle power or impaired range of movement. The event witnessed a neck-to-neck competition with the final results in favor of India. Mariyappan leaped to glory by crossing the 1.89m mark and Varun was close behind at 1.86m mark.
When Mariyappan was 5, his right knee was crushed in a car accident. This left him permanently disabled. He hails from the village of Periavadamgatti which is 50kms from Salem in Tamil Nadu. Varun on the other hand is from Greater Noida. He was affected by Polio at a very young age but he did not let it deter him. Varun has excelled in both education and sports. Both these athletes have notable previous achievements.
India began participation in the Paralympic games from 1968. Since then our para-athletes have competed in 10 games and won a total of 8 medals.
Let us cheer for the upcoming events and show our supports to these deserving athletes. Various institutions are coming forward to support them, like the Indusland Bank and their JeetkaHalla initiative.