Paralysis or Death, But She Selected Silver | Story no. 86/101

When told as a 26-year-old that her choice was between paralysis and death, anyone else would have had a meltdown. A budding sportswoman and cricketer for Rajasthan despite suffering paralytic shocks since the age of eight, Deepa, however, faced the impossibility of life head-on. Seven broken vertebrae and frequent MRI scans in the absence of titanium plates could not stop her from taking to throwing the javelin in 2006. Then it became the shot put, the event that has given her Paralympic glory in Rio.

Tasting success at the 2010 Para Asian Games, Deepa aspired to make a mark at the 2012 London Paralympics. However, she wasn’t able to make it in the absence of a quota and that only resulted in strengthening her resolve. Rio had to happen. It was in a sense the climax of her journey. Having fought 19 long months to get a license as a rally driver in Maharashtra, Deepa knows how it is to be a para athlete in India. She knew the system wasn’t conducive to getting her ready.

But it is never about the system in India, is it! Our athletes win despite the absence of a system. They win because they stand out. It is absolutely essential to state in this context that our treatment of Mariyappan, Deepa and Varun and our sensitivity and affection showered on these three super achievers will go a long away to defining us as a ‘people’.

De-briefing of this Story 

She is the best example of grit and determination that we can possibly have. She is the proof that winning is not always dependent on facilities and infrastructure. It is always about will and the determination to succeed. It is about the fire in the belly and the conviction to make a mark at the biggest stage.

This Story can be used to share the importance of

1- Hardwork

2- Winning against odds

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