Deepa Malik holds the Indian flag after winning silver in women’s shot put – F53 at Rio Paralympics.
Deepa’s reception party at the IGI Airport in New Delhi included family members, athletes and fellow bikers, not to forget hundred of fans whom she has inspired by becoming the first Indian female medallist at the Paralympic Games.
Deepa herself was overwhelmed.
“I’m so so honoured. If it has not sunk in after this, God knows I would be lying. I am finally realising what I am holding this (medal) and it has happened,” she admitted.
And this seems to be just the beginning of the festivities as India celebrates Deepa’s silver medal at the ongoing Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro which will conclude on September 18.
Deepa’s personal best throw of 4.61 metres in the women’s shot put F-53 final helped India win silver at the Games. Bahrain’s Fatema Nedham took the gold with a best throw of 4.76m while Dimitra Korokida of Greece took bronze with 4.28m on September 13.
Deepa registered a throw of 4.26m to start with. Her second throw was 4.49m while the third was 4.41. She then bettered her personal best with a throw of 4.61m.
Deepa Malik, who is a recipient of the Arjuna Award, is a paraplegic – paralysed from waist down – and mother of two and wife of an Army officer.
A spinal tumour left Deepa paralysed waist-below in 1999. The tumour had to be operated and 31 surgeries were conducted on Deepa which got healed after 183 stitches between her waist and legs. After six years of being in the wheelchair, she turned to para-sports.
Besides shot put, Deepa has participated in javelin throw, swimming and has also been a motivational speaker.