It’s not just about Rio Olympics! Female Paralympics athletes too have been shining and winning hearts over the years. Here’s more about them.
The international multi-sport event for those athletes who have some disabilities is known as the Paralympics and this event is held under the governance of the International Paralympic Committee. This year, the Paralympics are coming up shortly, from 7th September to 18th September 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Since women have proved themselves in every field, why would they lag behind in the field of special sports as well? So, here are some marvelous sportswomen who have exhibited their strength at past Paralympics events. Kudos to these Paralympics athletes that we can all learn so much from!
Sarah Storey hails from Eccles and she’s without a properly functioning left hand, that tangled in the umblical cord. This made it difficult for her hand to develop in a proper way. Sarah has always been in the habit of facing challenges and defeating them. She has 22 Paralympic medals to her credit for swimming, track and road cycling. She has created history by bagging 11 Gold, 3 Bronze, and 8 Silver Medals across six Paralympic Games.
A few years back, she was shortlisted for the BBC’s ‘Sports Personality of the Year Award.’
How easily we complain, when circumstances are not in our favour! In such a scenario, Ye Chui Yee’s story is an eye-opener for us. A girl who was diagnosed with bone cancer at the age of 11, she got her left leg amputated for a life time, fought back, and started her life anew. She had already started swimming early but later changed to fencing at the tender age of 17. After that, there was no looking back; she got 4 gold medals in the events of foil and epee, both in individual and team performance at 2004 Summer Paralympics.
Later, she got an opportunity to represent her native country Hong Kong at the 2008 Summer Paralympics where she could get only one gold and silver medal as team events got canceled. This is how she turned out to be one of the biggest inspiration for youngsters across the globe.
One of the best sportswomen that Paralympics has ever produced is Esther Vergeer. From the moment doctors discovered that she had ‘Vascular myelopathy’ around her spinal cord to the moment she got paralyzed, she never lost hope. She was always searching for a right moment, and discovered it during rehabilitation period when she learned to play tennis, basketball and volleyball in a wheelchair. Though our bright wheelchair tennis player has retired now, she has 148 singles and 136 doubles titles to her name. She has also opened a foundation to make people aware about para-sport and its significance.
It is so difficult even to imagine a life without having a hand and reaching such milestones as Natalia and other sportswomen in Paralympics have managed to reach. She started playing table tennis when she was seven, and at the age of 11, became the youngest Paralympian at 2000 Summer Paralympics. She was under the top 32 Qualifiers at London 2012 Olympic women’s table tennis. At the last two Paralympics, she managed to bag singles gold and is not scared to face more challenges.
A blind German cross-country skier and bi athlete left her footprints at the 1998 Winter Paralympics by winning one gold, one bronze and two silver medals. Her victory followed by another at 2002 Winter Paralympics where she won four gold medals. 2006 turned out to be a very fortunate year for her where she won two gold, one bronze medal at 2006 Winter Paralympics along with Combined World Cup in Biathlon.
She is a South African born swimmer known for winning gold medals at 2004 Paralymic Games and Commonwealth Games. Since the age of 14, she started taking part in swimming competitions. She fought back in the form of participating in the 2002 Commonwealth Games even when her left leg was amputated at the knee after getting hit by a car.
Rising from deep poverty with a degenerative eye condition that left her completely blind, her life was full of twists and turns but she made her apparent disadvantage her biggest weapon and became a Paralympic athlete from Brazil. In 2004 Summer Paralympics, she won a Bronze Medal in women’s 400 metres T12 event while at 2008 Summer Parlympics, she won a Gold Medal in women’s 200 metres T11 event.
Indeed, life is not a bed of roses but not a bed of thorns either; it’s a mixture of both. We should take inspiration from these sportswomen to make the most of what we have prudently.