Another day to remember for India at the Rio Paralympics!
45-year-old Deepa Malik became the first Indian woman to win a medal at the Paralympic games with a silver medal in the shot put Women’s Shot Put – F53 category, throwing a personal best of 4.61m.
This is how the final table looked like. Deepa, in fact, twice bettered her previous personal best and finished just behind the eventual gold medal winner.
The Guardian wrote this about Deepa four years back: “The businesswoman and mother captivated the nation not known for its compassion for the disabled after she annihilated a bunch of able-bodied reality TV show contestants in a swimming race despite being paralysed from the chest down. But Deepa Malik will not be competing in London – in the pool or on the athletics field, where she has been the Asian champion in shot put, discus and javelin. Despite her track record, she was not selected to be part of the 10-man squad.”
Four years down the line, Deepa has changed it around. The 45-year-old all-rounder, who is into swimming, javelin throw, shot put, discus throw and even motorsport, goes where no Indian woman has gone before.
Deepa was diagnosed with spinal tumour and was paralysed from chest down about 12 years ago. Since then she has undergone three spinal tumour surgeries and 183 stitches between shoulder blades, but none of it has stopped her from taking up new challenges.
She is an Asian Record holder in Women’s Javelin Throw and has also been nominated in Limca Book of Records for her swimming records. And she is an Arjuna Awardee as well.
We soon expect a Khel Ratna to be added to that list.
Way to go, ma’am!