“Jump! And you will find out how to unfold your wings as you fly.” Courage is what we need! We give up so easily sometimes. Here are people who just didn’t give up! Here are young, determined people who will encourage you to jump and motivate you to fly.
Varun Singh Bhati
Source- Getty Images
Varun Singh Bhati is Para high jumper, competing in T42 category. Varun is just 23 years old and has already achieved quite a number of accolades in his field. Varun comes from Greater Noida. He was afflicted by Poliomyelitis at a very young age. Varun took sports in school days and has been active since then.
When he was just 17, he registered the 'A' qualification mark at the qualification for Paralympics London in the event. But as the slots were limited to India, he could not make the cut. 2014 was better; 19 years old Varun was part of Indian team for Asian Para Games in Incheon, (Korea). He managed 5th place. In the same year he won a gold medal at the 2014 China Open Athletics Championship. In 2016 Summer Paralympic Games at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, he won the bronze medal, when he jumped 1.86m, his personal best. The following year, in 2017, he won bronze again in World Para Athletics Championships by clearing 1.77m jump.
For his achievements he was honoured with Arjuna Award in 2017. 23 and already an Arjuna Award winner!
Source- Warren Little/Getty Images
Ankur, 22, is a blind athlete, and in fact, country's first blind athlete in 30 years to participate at Paralympics. Ankur comes from a small village in Uttar Pradesh. He runs middle distance races (800m and 1500m heats) in the T-11 category. He started suffering gradual vision loss when he was five years of age and by the time he turned 6, Dhama’s eyesight had completely failed.
He moved to Delhi and attended JPM Senior Secondary School for the Blind . In school, he learned about The Indian Blind Sports Association. He started participating in the events organized by them.
Athletes are dependent on their guides in blind running and athletics. Guides run alongside holding one end of a rope while para athlete holds the other; this is to provide the athlete with sense of direction and help them with obstacles.
The 2016 Paralympics didn’t end well for him. Unfortunately, just over 5 seconds into 1500m heats at last year’s Paralympics, Ankur’s guide runner Vipin Kumar took a fall after being pushed by Turkey's Semih Deniz from behind. Because of that, he lost out on vital seconds, thus he could only manage to clock 4:37.61 as opposed to his personal best of 4:17. With only the group winners and three fastest losers qualifying for the final, a second-place finish wasn't enough for Dhama.
He already has 8 International medals, including 3 Golds to his name. Ankur is still young and has a long way to go. His loss at Rio, hasn’t wavered his determination.
Mariyappan Thangavelu is Paralympics high jumper, who comes from Tamil Nadu. He represented India in the 2016 Summer Paralympics games held in Rio de Janeiro in the men's high jump T-42 category, winning the gold medal in the finals. He is India's first Paralympian gold medallist since 2004.
When Mariyappan was just five, he was run over by a drunken bus driver; the bus crushed his right leg below the knee, causing it to become stunted, leaving a permanent disability.
His Physical Education teacher in school first saw his skills in high jump and motivated him to move forward in this sport. Later, coach Satyanarayana saw Thangavelu at the 2013 National Para-Athletics Championship and brought him to Bengaluru for training. In 2016 Paralympics, the 21-year-old high jumper made history with his 1.89m jump, which earned him the gold.
He is just 21 and has already received Padma Shri and Arjuna Award!
We have too much inspiration around us; we just have to look for them to get motivated.
By Raj Kishan