Know more about your Indian Paralympians
2) Deepa Malik
Deepa’s life is no less than that of a superhero. An army man’s wife, a mother of two, a former beauty queen, an adventure sports player, an entrepreneur, a biker and a Paralympian, she has lived it all. She is also the first paraplegic Indian woman to join the world of sports. She is one of those who inspires us to dream big with their ability to overcome adversity.
“My life changed when I was diagnosed with a tumour in my spine during my early 30’s; it left me wheelchair bound with chest below paralysis. I came from a family of proud army men; my father was in the army and so was my husband, and I could have chosen a life of comfort if I wanted to.
“In fact, people expected me to remain restricted to my house and wheelchair, but I had other plans and set out to pursue swimming, motorsports and eventually Javelin and Shot Put.”
Deepa has over 58 national and state-level medals and 17 international medals in various sports including swimming, javelin throw and shot put. She has also won a bagful of awards for her achievements, which includes the President’s Role Model Award 2014, Limca People of the Year Award 2014, Karmaveer Chakra Award 2013 and she was honoured with the Arjuna Award in 2012.
She is representing India at the Rio Paralympic Games in the event of shotput. Deepa has registered her name four times in the Limca Book of Records for her biking adventures.
“Training has been fantastic. I recently threw my personal best at the Paralympic Games Selection trials in Sonipat, which were conducted by the Sports Authority of India. I feel physically and mentally ready for Rio and I hope I can make my mark at the Games!”
She added to her tally by bagging the silver medal in her event (shot put) at the 2016 Rio Paralympics. And here is what she has to say to our readers,
“Never give up! I was close to quitting sport but I persisted and look where I am today. Times can always change for good.”