Top Indian Paralympic Athletes who Made India Proud

They were physically challenged, but they were not weak

When the world underestimated them because they were physically challenged, they fought back and rose above everyone. We are talking about the Paralympic athletes of our nation who have made India proud. Sadly, they receive little recognition or support from the general masses. In this column, let us introduce you to some top Paralympic athletes of India.

Devendra Jhajaria

When he was eight, his hand was amputated because of an electric shock. However, that incident could not stop Jhajaria from turning into a world-class athlete. Jhajaria is an established javelin thrower who secured gold medals in the 2004 and 2016 Paralympics. In 2012, he was honoured by the Padma Shri Award.

Mariyappan Thangavelu

Thangavelu is an Arjuna and Padma Shri awardee who received these honours for his massive contribution towards the sport of high jumping. A high jumper by profession, Thangavelu won a gold medal in the men’s high jump T-42 segment. Held in Rio de Janeiro, the 2016 Paralympics was the biggest moment of his life.

Deepa Malik

Due to a spinal tumour, Deepa Malik’s wheelchair became her constant companion. Instead of sitting at home, she fought to become India’s first female Paralympic athlete. Malik has won over 54 national medals and 13 international accolades in shotput and javelin. That’s not all as she was awarded the Arjuna Award for her incredible performances in swimming.

Rajinder Singh

A powerlifter by profession, Singh secured a bronze medal in the 56kg category at the Summer Paralympics of 2004. In the 2008 edition, Singh secured an overall fifth position. Sadly, his performance in the 2012 edition was below the belt.

Pooja Rani

Poliomyelitis devoured Pooja’s childhood, but she was never a quitter. Her disability was no big deal to her as she trained hard to become an archer and did so successfully by securing a fifth rank at the World Ranking Tournament. In 2016, Pooja achieved her first medal at the National Para Archery Tournament and also represented India at the Paralympics.

Amit Kumar

He was a national-level hockey player, but an accident injured his spine and he had to take the support of a wheelchair. However, his love for sport did not die as he ventured into the world of para-athletics. Amit has won several gold and silver medals in the sport of discus and club throwing.

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