Deepa Malik today became the first Indian woman to win a medal the Paralympics. She achieved this feat by winning silver in the shotput F-53 event. She attempted six times and of those her throw of 4.61m was the personal best. With this win, she emerged as India’s third medallist at the games that are being held in Rio.
Sure enough, the Congratulations came pouring in on social media:
What makes her achievement a special triumph is that despite being paralysed from down the chest, Deepa has shown excellency in many sports winning numerous national and international medals.
The gold medal winner is Fatema Nedham of Bahrain with the best throw of 4.76m while Dimitra Korokida of Greece took the bronze medal home with a throw of 4.28m.
Deepa is the wife of an Army officer, and has two children. She was diagnosed with spinal tumor which made her walking impossible 17 years ago. She has gone through 31 surgeries during her illness.
Recipient of medals in swimming at international competitions, other than shotput, she has also participated in javelin throw, swimming and has also been a motivational speaker. Arjuna Awardee in 2012, Deepa also is the Asian record holder in javelin throw, and has World Championships silver medals in shot put and discus in 2011.
She also recently won the ‘Women Transforming India’ contest in NITI Aayog event, organised in collaboration with MyGov and the UN in India. At the event, her proud father, Infantry Colonel BK Nagpal said while receiving the award on behalf of her, ”I am very proud of my daughter. Her attitude towards life kept her going. Once she said to me that ‘like you wear glasses, I wear my wheelchair. There is no difference between the two.’”
A big salute to Deepa’s efforts and never-say-die spirit!
Feature Image Credit: ndtv
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