Mariyappan Thangavelu, an Indian Paralympic high jumper who born in TamilNadu. He represented India by winning the gold medal in the finals at the Summer Paralympic Games 2016 held in Rio de Janeiro in the men’s high jump T-42 category. Also, he is India’s first Paralympian gold medallist since 2004. On 25 January 2017, Government of India declared “Padma Shri award for his contribution towards his game. Recently, the Tamil film industry started to make his success story. Director Aishwaryaa Dhanush is making a film about this life and achievements, the film titled as Mariyappan.

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Mariyappan Thangavelu, an Indian Paralympic high jumper who born in TamilNadu

Mariyappan Thangavelu, an Indian Paralympic high jumper who born in TamilNadu

Early Life

Mariyappan Thangavelu was born on 28 June 1995 in Periavadagampatti village in Salem district, Tamil Nadu. He is one of six children (four brothers and a sister). His father reportedly left the family early on, and his mother, Saroja, supported her children as a single mother by carrying bricks as a labourer. Later she becomes a vegetable seller and earning ₹100 a day.

At the age of five, while Mariyappan is walking to school, a drunken bus driver crushed his leg under the knee when he was run over, stunt had fixed in that time. He completed secondary schooling even he injured. He simply says,   “didn’t see me as different from able-bodied kids.”  

Mariyappan Thangavelu was born on 28 June 1995 in Periavadagampatti village in Salem district, Tamil Nadu.

Mariyappan Thangavelu was born on 28 June 1995 in Periavadagampatti village in Salem district, Tamil Nadu.

Athletic Career welcomes Mariyappan

When he was a school student, Volleyball is the game which he usually played. And his School Physical Education Instructor inspired him to try high jumping. In the age of 14, he played the first event and placed second among a field of able bodies competitors. He achieved by the encouragements of his schoolmates, classmates, and even some peoples of Salem district. In 2013, he started his training with his current coach Mr.Satyanarayana, who supported by the Sports Academy of India for differently-abled. He first noticed his performance at the Indian National para-athletics championships. And he took him on as a student in 2015 and bringing him to Bengaluru for additional coaching.

Mariyappan qualified for the Rio Paralympics by clearing the distance of 1.8m i.e. 5ft and 10 inches in the men's high jumpT-42 event at the IPC Grand Prix in Tunisia.

Mariyappan qualified for the Rio Paralympics by clearing the distance of 1.8m i.e. 5ft and 10 inches in the men’s high jumpT-42 event at the IPC Grand Prix in Tunisia.

In March 2016, Mariyappan qualified for the Rio Paralympics by clearing the distance of 1.8m i.e. 5ft and 10 inches in the men’s high jumpT-42 event at the IPC Grand Prix in Tunisia. At last, he won the gold medal at Rio Paralympics in the men’s high jump T-42 event, with the leap of 1.89m i.e. 6feet and 2inch.

Personal Life of Mariyappan

Mariyappan completed a bachelor’s degree at 2015 in business administration from AVS College of Arts and Science. He thinks to complete an MBA course from the same institution. He lived a normal life with his mother Saroja, and he also has an elder sister Sudha and two younger brothers named Kumar and Gopi.

He won the gold medal at Rio Paralympics in the men's high jump T-42 event, with the leap of 1.89m i.e. 6feet and 2inch.

He won the gold medal at Rio Paralympics in the men’s high jump T-42 event, with the leap of 1.89m i.e. 6feet and 2inch.

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Awards and Recognition for the gold medal at the 2016 Summer Paralympics

  • In 2017, Government of India declared “Padma Shri” award for his contribution and also for fourth highest Indian national honour.
  • Government of Tamil Nadu honoured with ₹2 crore (US$310,000)
  • Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports honoured with ₹75 lakh (US$120,000)
  • Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment honoured with ₹30 lakh (US$47,000)
  • Fund established from Sachin Tendulkar and various corporations with ₹15 lakh (US$23,000)
  • Yash Raj Films honoured with ₹10 lakh (US$16,000)
  • Delhi Golf Club honoured with ₹10 lakh (US$16,000)
  • NRI businessman Mukkattu Sebastian honoured with ₹5 lakh (US$7,800)

Thus Mariyappan is such a great inspiration for every abled person.

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