Project 365: Day 129 — Curtains on the Paralympics

I was watching the Day 4 highlights of the Paralympics 2016 last evening. It is astounding to see how talented these guys are. Some of them have surpassed their Olympics peers and would’ve won medals there at their speeds.

It is incredible to see their progress and performance. Just imagine a regular guy playing table tennis, how difficult it is to move to your opponent’s movements. Now imagine two guys facing off against each other the same way, except on wheelchairs. It’s is just scary and crazy and yet exhilarating to watch these guys in action. Visually impaired folk running with their running partners, wheelchair races…

Imagine excelling at a sport and also excelling despite being physically challenged in some way. That is a true victory. Why our country isn’t cheering these people on is beyond me. Because these are the guys who’ve won us more medals than our Olympic stars this year. It’s important that these guys are recognized and rewarded for their efforts because in a country like India, not only are they unable to access good sports and training infrastructure, but they also overcome daunting physically taxing challenges that rob them of their energy and often, also their self-confidence.

For every Dipa Karamkar, we must celebrate a Deepa Malik. For every able sportsperson, it’s important we also celebrate those less fortunate who aren’t fit enough to compete for the Olympics but have surpassed the performances of their Olympics peers in some cases.

Watching them perform last evening, I realised that nothing is really impossible if you put your heart and soul into it. If I suffered from a disability, I’d probably be heartbroken at never being able to live a “normal” life again. But these guys have an indomitable spirit, not just important in sport but more so, in life. Kudos to them!

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