Third Indian to win a gold medal in the Paralympics when he left behind world champion Sam Grew of the USA in the T-42 High Jump event in Rio. First from India to do this Job.
The 21-year-old Paralympian met with an accident aged five with a speeding bus that resulted in his right leg getting crushed below the knee, leaving him with a permanent disability.
As a Reward to this Proud deed , the Indian sports ministry and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa both announced cash rewards of Rs 75 lakh and Rs 2 crore respectively for the gold medalist.
Mariyappan has donated Rs 30 lakh from the prize money he won after his historic feat to the government school where he studied.
A big respect to this guy who bought glory to us .
Thangavelu clinched gold with a jump of 1.89 Meter while Bhati won the bronze with an attempt of 1.86m, which is also his personal best mark.
The 20-year-old Thangavelu, with his stellar effort at Rio, became the first Indian high-jumper to win a gold medal at the Games. He is also the third Indian to win a gold at Paralympics after Murlikant Petkar (Swimming, 1972 Heidelberg) and Devendra Jhajharia (Javelin Throw, 2004 Athens).
At the age of five, a bus accident left him with a permanent disability. He was going to school when the bus took a wrong turn and ran over Thangavelu’s right leg, damaging it below knee.
But that was not a deterrent for Thangavelu to pursue his dreams. In his first competition, he competed with able-bodied athletes and finished second. His rise has been steady since then.