Special Olympics Summer Games 2019: Indian athletes on a roll in Abu Dhabi

Indian athletes at the medal ceremony
Indian athletes at the medal ceremony

As the medal tally surges, the Champions come up stronger than before demonstrating extraordinary mettle through a very humble demeanour.

Sonu Kumar, who won a Gold in Judo says "Milk and lassi" made him strong. He studies as well as works in the Chetanalaya Special School Rohtak. Haryana. His brother is a driver with the school.

Following a simple diet and a disciplined lifestyle is what he feels got him here. He says that he wants to tell everyone that he has won a Gold Medal and would like everyone to stay committed to their goals- success will follow.

Sonu Kumar with his gold medal
Sonu Kumar with his gold medal

He clashed twice with Romania and once with Syria winning all three fights. Rakesh Kumar, Judo Coach from Chandigarh says that he is delighted to be part of this event and credits the Athletes for providing him with such a phenomenal platform. Based in Chandigarh and guiding Sonu who is in Haryana, made him connect with the parents, school and the local coach as part of his long-distance guidance to Sonu.

Priya Gada won a Silver in 100 mt. Roller Skating. Cheerful and chirpy as always, she said, “I am missing my family and want to break the news to my parents myself. But now I want to focus on my next event”. She is full of admiration of her Coach (in Mumbai- her hometown) who she recalls held her hands to teach her and has supported her, giving her individual attention. Priya’s dream is to be a Coach to place more persons on a path of victory as she finds herself today.

Muskaan won a silver each in squat and in bench press, gold in deadlift and Bronze in a combo of three. She shares her victory with her mother without whose battle with family and friends Muskan would not have been on the victory stand. The calm and joy on her face conceals her tribulations starting from her parents parting ways because of a child ‘like Muskaan’.

Family and friends who cautioned her mother not to ‘invest’ too much on her ‘as it would be futile’, are today making incessant calls to express their amazement and admiration. As she gets the news, Muskaan’s mother recalls moments of aggressive struggle she had with people around her as well as with herself to have her daughter participate in this life-changing experience and heaves a sigh of relief. “Something in me kept pushing me forward against everyone’s wishes. I always had faith in Sports, her teachers and Coaches.”

India has won a total of 166 medals at the event which include 44 gold, 54 silver and 68 bronze medals. The closing ceremony of the games will take place on the 21st of March.

Edited by Kishan Prasad
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