Rio Paralympic gold medallist Thangvellu Mariyappan is set to bear the flag of the Indian contingent for the 3rd Paralympic Asian Games to be held in Jakarta from October 6-13. Mariyappan has an interesting life story that can inspire anyone in this world. The 2017 Padma Shri awardee is an avid follower of his favourite sport volleyball. An unfortunate accident crushed Mariyappan’s right leg, but it was not enough to crush his desire to be on top and represent India at the highest level.
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Let us take a look at some facts of India’s flag-bearer, Thangvellu Mariyappan in 2018 Paralympic Asian Games:
1. Mariyappan lost his right leg at an age of five after he met with an accident which resulted in his right leg getting crushed below the knee.
2. Mariyappan’s favourite sport is Volleyball and he played with the normal students in during his school days. However, he won a silver medal in a high jump event after being advised by his Physical Education teacher.
3. Coach Satyanaryana spotted Mariyappan at the National Para-Athletics Championship at the age of 18. Mariyappan achieved the No.1 spot in 2015 after years of hardwork.
4. Mariyappan’s mother is the sole earner of his family. She is a cycle vegetable seller and earns Rs 200 per day approximately. With a family that have 3 other siblings while his father had abandoned them over a decade ago. His mother took a loan of 3 lakh for his treatment.
5. The Tamil Nadu athlete, Mariyappan clinched a gold medal at the IPC Tunisia Grand Prix and booked a place at the Paralympics.
6. Mariyappan was awarded a Padma Shri in 2017.
India, who are fielding its biggest ever team of 302 members which include coaches, athletes, support staffs, officials, and escorts, were denied entry at the Games Village as the Sports Ministry were yet to clear the funds of around $2.5 lakh. The issue was cleared off.
The 3rd Paralympic Asian Games are set to start from Jakarta from October 6-13