Meet Rio Gold Medalist Mariyappan Thangavelu, India’s Flag-Bearer At The Tokyo Paralympics

Do you know who Mariyappan Thangavelu is? Read on to know more about India’s star Paralympic high jumper.

Shrudi Shyam

July 14, 2021

Trending News

2 min


When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade! And that’s exactly what the athletes in the Paralympics have done. Despite their disability, these athletes haven’t stopped chasing their dreams. And today, they’re one step closer to it. This year, India is ready to participate in 9 disciplines in the Tokyo Paralympics as compared to the 5 disciplines in 2016. And leading the Indian contingent will be the flag bearer of India, Rio Gold Medalist, Mariyappan Thangavelu.


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The 26-year-old top para high-jumper, Mariyappan Thangavelu, is named as the flag bearer for the Indian contingent in the  Tokyo Paralympics. Mariyappan represented India in the 2016 Summer Paralympic games held in Rio de Janeiro and won Gold in the men’s high jump T-42 category. He qualified for Tokyo Paralympics after finishing third in the event at the 2019 World Athletes Championship in Dubai. And now he’ll be defending his Gold in the Tokyo Paralympics.

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Mariyappan Thangavelu is a resident of the Salem district in Tamil Nadu. The athlete suffered a permanent disability at the age of 5 when a bus crushed his right leg below the knee. Despite the odds, Thangavelu overcame all the obstacles and represented India on an international platform.

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In 2020, Mariyappan Thangavelu was awarded the Khel Ratna award for his exceptional contribution to the sport and his undying sportsmanship. He is the third Indian to win a gold medal at the Paralympics. Tokyo Paralympics will be held from August 24 to September 5 2021 and will feature several athletes competing in 9 disciplines across the multi-sporting event.

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