The story of Parlympian Gold Medalist - Fusion - WeRIndia

The story of Parlympian Gold Medalist Thangavelu Mariyappan

The story of Parlympian Gold Medalist Thangavelu Mariyappan

Have you heard of Mariyappan Thangavelu? He won India’s first gold medal in 12 years on the second day of 2016 Paralympic Games. He won the gold in men’s T42 high jump event by jumping 1.89 m.

The story of Mariyappan is full of inspiration for everyone. This 21 year old para-athlete hailed from hardships and worked hard to get to the position he is in. He comes from a village called Periavadagampatti located about 50 km from Salem, Tamil Nadu. At the age of five, his right knee was crushed when a bus ran over his leg.

At that time, his, who is a vegetable seller, took a loan of Rs. 3 lakh for his treatment. Mariyappan always loved sports. He loved volleyball, but could not do it because of his disability. At that time, his teacher advised him to try high jump event at school. Mariyappan finished at second place in his school competition competing against able-bodied athletes.

His life gave him an opportunity to practice his skills when he met his coach, Satyanarayana at National Para-Athletics Championships of 2013. Satyanarayana trained him in 2015. After a lot of training and hardwork, Mariyappa got the world number one spot in 2015.

Mariyappan says that his big toe which is deformed, is his lucky charm. He says that it gives him extra leverage during sports competitions.

Mariyappan got a lot of news coverage in March this year when he jumped a distance of 1.78 meters in the men’s high jump event at the IPC Grand Prix Tunisia. This let him participate in Rio since the Qualification Standard is 1.60 metres.

Mariyappan is the third Indian who managed to get gold at Paralympics. He had a very tough competition as well. Six out of twelve athletes cleared the 1.74 mark in first eight attempts. However, Mariyappan managed to get the medal with his amazing remarkable leap.


Image Reference: The Hindu

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