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When we talk about battling all odds and emerging a winner, Deepa Malik stands as a living testament. She proved that no matter how strong the opposition, sheer courage and will power can make one a true winner.
And with that attitude, she scripted history by winning the silver medal in the women’s shotput F53 event at the Rio Paralympics, with a personal best throw of 4.61m! This win at Rio makes her India’s first woman and oldest athlete to ever win a medal at the Paralympics. Recently, Deepa continued her winning streak by bagging her second bronze at the Asian Para Games, for women’s F51/52/53s discus throw. She is currently world No. 1 in the F-53 Javelin throw category with a Gold at the Para Athletic Grand Prix 2018.
Deepa is also the President’s role model and NITI Aayog award winner for women transforming India. And was conferred the prestigious Padma Shri Award by the Government of India, in 2017.
After being diagnosed with a spinal tumour, Deepa was left paralysed from chest down during a procedure to remove the same. Instead of letting it come in her way, this only contributed to spurring her on to do something that beats the prejudices that society holds for women or the specially-abled.
She took to sports at the age of 36, a point where most accomplished athletes seek retirement from their respective disciplines and went on to set the benchmark across various sports in the paraplegic arena. She was awarded the Arjuna award, the highest honour for a sportsperson in India, in 2012 for her achievements.
From braving three surgeries over the past 15 years to becoming the first paraplegic Indian woman biker, swimmer, rally driver, entrepreneur and a motivational speaker; this all-rounder has proved her to be a winner in every right!
Her focus, determination and attitude are something few people can dream of. From junior to senior executives, everyone finds her sessions motivating and inspiring, teaching people to fight odds and never settle.