The Paralympic Games of 2016 held at Rio came to an end on September 18th after a fabulous fortnight of astonishing displays. With expectations riding high on India’s biggest ever Olympic contingent at the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics, the outcome of it was not competent enough, as India finished with just 1 Silver and 1 Bronze.

But with only 19 competitors across 5 Sports, the Paralympic heroes finished with 4 medals (2 Golds, 1 Silver, 1 Bronze) and an all-over 43rd in the list with every medal coming off the Athletics division.

With their best ever show so far, these Paralympic heroes definitely need a big mention. Here’s all you need to know about our Super-inspiring Paralympic medallists.

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Mariyappan Thangavelu (centre) and Varun Bhati (right) pose for a picture after the medal ceremony

Mariyappan Thangavelu

Hailing from a small village part of Salem, Tamil Nadu, the 21-year old champ stunned the nation when he walked away with the most prestigious Gold medal from the men’s high jump T-42 category with a jump of 1.89m. The accident he faced with when he was only 5 years old did not dampen his spirits in achieving greater things in life. As much as he dedicated his life to sports, he also excelled in academics, completing his Under Graduation in Business Administration. From the prize money he received as part of his Paralympic success, he donated 30 Lakhs to the Government school that gave him the roots.

Devendra Jhajharia

Words cannot simply explain how incredible his achievements are, Devendra Jhajharia is a Masterpiece. He broke his own record that fetched him the Gold medal at the 2004 Athens Paralympic games to do a double this year. Thus he became the first Indian to have ever won 2 Gold medals at the Paralympic Games with a World record throw of 63.97m. The best part is he had two more throws left in his pocket but it didn’t matter. He is also the first Paralympian to be awarded the Padma Shri in 2012.

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Devendra Jhajhari kisses his Gold medal after winning it for the second time

Also Read: Why Devendra Jhajharia is One of India’s Biggest Sports Heroes?

Deepa Malik

At 45 years of age, most of us would be working a “9-6” or be “Stay-at-home Moms”. But Deepa Malik is “No Ordinary”. She took home the Silver in the Shot Put event and became the first Woman to win a medal at the Paralympic Games. She has not only mastered Shot Put but she is also a Motor Sport specialist. Deepa stands as an inspiration to most of us, especially the women out there, to always stand out of the crowd and pursue their ambitions no matter what happens.

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Deepa Malik taking a shot at the medal

Varun Singh Bhati

Another young gun who stood tall on the podium, alongside Mariyappan Thangavelu in the men’s high jump T-42 category is Varun Singh Bhati. He won the Bronze medal for India clearing a jump of 1.86m having a deformity in one of his legs as he was affected by Polio at a very young age.  He has also won the Gold Medal in the China Open Athletics Championship in 2014.

These athletes have been a huge source of pride to our nation and we cannot thank them enough for it. Hopefully, India will continue to do better in sports all over the world. But it is our duty to encourage and promote sports in our country so that many other aspiring youngsters become a part of this victory. Are you ready to do it?

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Sheryl Thomas

Sport Enthusiast with a penchant for Writing. Art and Music Lover, Foodie and a Travel buff.

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