Deepa Malik becomes the first Indian women athlete to win a medal at the Paralympic Games. She clinched a silver in the women’s shot put with a throw of 4.61 m. With this win, India’s total at the Rio Paralympics is three medals.
Deepa, a 45-year-old wheelchair bound woman from Gurgaon, has been paralysed from the waist down after a spinal tumour in 1999, followed by three surgeries and 183 stitches. Speaking to IANS post her epic win, she said:
I want to use this medal to support women with disabilities in India. This journey has been wonderful for me and my entire family. I am proud to be the oldest athlete in the team and win a medal
Deepa is the first indian woman at the Paralympics. Not just that, she overcame all hurdles and became the first paraplegic woman in the world to ride a quad bike across nine high-altitude passes in nine days on Ladakh’s motor able roads and also participated in a Chennai-Delhi (3,278km) pan India drive by paraplegic women.
She also swam the Yamuna for a kilometre upstream and was felicitated with the Arjuna award. She has 17 international medals, 58 National gold medals and also holds the Asian record in javelin throw. In addition to that, she has won the World Championship silver medals in shot put and discus in 2011.
Phew! So many feathers in her cap, she is definitely a champion. Hats off to you, Deepa!