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Mariyappan’s Paralympics gold: A journey defying all odds

thanks to Times of India


India’s gold medal winner at the 2016 Paralympics Games, Mariyappan Thangaveluwas only five years old when his right knee was crushed in a bus accident. His journey from the day that left him permanently disabled to becoming only the third Indian paralympian to win a gold medal, has been nothing less than inspiring. Even today, when Mariyappan has helped India jump within the top 30 places in the medals tally, the family continues to be involved in a legal tussle against the state-owned transport corporation.

That Mariyappan has come this far owes a lot to his mother and coach. After his father abandoned the family, he and his mother Saroja had to endure a tough life financially. Saroja has been offering domestic help for years and her livelihood banks on selling vegetables. Yet, she ensured that Mariyappan’s initial love towards sports – he used to play volleyball earlier – developed into something special.

Following Mariyappan’s medal-winning performance, the family, living in the Periyavadagampatti village in Salem district of Tamil Nadu, celebrated by bursting crackers and distributing sweets. “I sincerely thank each and every one who is supporting my boy,” said Saroja, the mother of four children who earns Rs 75 to Rs 100 on a day, after Mariyappan’s medal-winning performance.

Winning is not new to Mariyappan. In his first competitive event against able-bodied athletes aged 14, he emerged second. Satyanarayana, his coach, was quick to spot him at the National Para-Athletics Championship when he was just 18. This was in the year 2013.


 Image result for mariappan thangavelu

Undergoing intense training session in Bengaluru, he became the World No. 1 in 2015 in his first year of senior-level competition. The athlete also bagged a gold medal at the IPC Tunisia Grand Prix when he jumped his personal best of 1.78m which was enough for him to book a berth at the Paralympics. The same year, he also completed his Bachelors in business administration and has been hunting for a job since.


 Image result for mariappan thangavelu

Mariyappan’s feat has been lauded by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Sports Minister Vijay Goel and former Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra. The list though, doesn’t end there. Tamil Nadu’s district sports officer, Periya Aruppan, congratulated Mariyappan and Satyanarayana over the phone in this morning and ensured he will provide him with all sorts of help.

Top Comment

People like this should be encouraged.. lets the what the govt will do for him. will they do like what they did for sindhu and sakshi. What do u think?? INspiRing….Pavan Kumar


Later in the day, the Tamil Nadu government announced a cash reward of Rs 2 crore for Mariyappan. TN Chief Minister Jayalalithaa had this to say regarding the performance: “I was delighted to learn that Mariyappan has won Gold Medal in Paralympics currently being held in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.”



2 responses

  1. s.sagayayaraj

    I am disabled
    God for you Sir

    September 24, 2016 at 6:48 pm

    • thanks for your feedback on this post S.Sagayaraj. vanakkam. please keep contact. Godliness is with all good people.

      September 27, 2016 at 2:45 pm

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