The Paralympic Games are held every four years for athletes who are differently-abled. The Games, which generally follow the Summer Olympics, will be held in Rio de Janeiro from 7-18 September. India will be represented at the Paralympics by 19 athletes, the highest sent for the event till date.
There are 10 different forms of disabilities under which athletes are classified at the Paralympics. These are impaired muscle power, impaired passive range of movement, limb deficiency, leg length difference, short stature, hypertonia, ataxia, athetosis, vision impairment and intellectual impairment.
Let us take a look at some of our prominent athletes who will be participating in the event.
1. Amit Kumar Saroha-Club Throw
Saroha, a former national-level hockey player was involved in a car accident in 2007 at the age of 22 that left him in a wheelchair but found inspiration from a meeting with American wheelchair rugby player Jonathan Sigworth, which opened up the Haryana native to para sports. Saroha enters the Rio Paralympics on a confident note, having earlier this year won gold at the French Open Athletics Championships with an Asian record of 26.58m.
2. Pooja Rani-Archery
She braved Polio, a disease that left her legs deformed and adopted discus throw. But she realized soon that her talent lay elsewhere and switched to Archery. She has gone on to win several national and international accolades in the sport.
3. Mariyappan Thangavelu - High jump
A young high-jumper who is touted as having great potential, Mariyappan qualified for the games very comfortably when he cleared a distance of 1.78m in the men's high jump event at the IPC Grand Prix in Tunisia, when the qualification distance was 1.60m.
4. Ankur Dhama - 1500m
He is the first blind athlete to represent India in the Paralympics. If he qualifies in the heats, he will compete in the 1,500 metre final. He has been working hard with his personal trainer and instructor on improving his personal best time of 4:17 minutes over the distance.
5. Devendra Jhajharia
The first Paralympian to receive the Padma Shri award, Devendra Jhajharia has over 14 years of experience and won the Gold Medal at the Athens Olympics in 2004. He broke the World Record while doing so and India has a lot of hopes from him this time as well.
6. Deepa Malik- Shot put
She started off her career at the age of 36 as an out an out adventure sportswoman. She has the unique distinction of being the only person with disability to get a official rally license from Federation Motor Sports Club of India. She has managed to create an impressive medal tally and gone onto become the oldest ever recipient of precedence Arjuna award in 2012 at the age of 42 years.
We wish them best of luck!
Google celebrated the start of paralympics in its own 'doodley' way!