India's Deepa Malik scripted history when she won the silver medal in the women's shotput F53 event at the Rio Paralympics on Monday, with a personal best throw of 4.61m; with this herculean effort, she became India's first woman and oldest athlete to ever win a medal at the Paralympics.
Deepa started off with a throw of 4.26m and then registered 4.49 on her second attempt and 4.41m on the third. On her sixth throw, she recorded a personal best of 4.61m, which ultimately helped her finish second.Deepa is a paraplegic, paralysed from waist down. A spinal tumour confined her to a wheelchair 17 years ago, and she has been unable to walk since then. "It was pretty depressing in the beginning but the love and support of my family made the process easy for me. The acceptance of your disability by your near and dear ones can make a lot of contribution to one’s confidence," she told the Disability News and Information Service. "It made me look at life from a new window. I learned everything all over again."
Her advent into sports began on a note of pure luck. The Maharashtra Paralympic Sports Association had earlier seen her swimming. They asked her if she wanted to participate in the Nationals and that it was a sure shot medal because she was going to be the first one in the disability category. She has spoken about the social stigma attached to disability. In an interview with The Guardian she had said, "There is still this pervasive religious view that if you are disabled, you have been cursed by the gods."
Deepa's distinctions in multiple sports, her various activities including 'Ability beyond Disability', her three Limca Book of World Records and her various medals in swimming at international competitions makes her a unique athlete. She holds the Asian record in javelin throw, and also has World Championships silver medals in shot put and discus that she won in 2011.Perhaps her most adventurous step till date would be the 3,000 km journey she took from Delhi to Leh and back on a specially enabled car. The hand-controlled vehicle would take her through the Rohtang pass up until the highest motorable pass in the world, the Khardung La, at an elevation of 5,359m, according to a report by The Times of India. This record is especially remarkable when we take into account that Deepa has no control over her bladder and bowel movement and also has no control of her body beneath her chest.

Team DPS salutes the spirit of Deepa Malik and wishes her best of luck.

12 Apr 2017

School Admin