The Paralympic Games is an Olympic Games exclusive for athletes with a range of physical disabilities. It is also known as the Paralympics and the Games of the Paralympians. It is held in almost the same way as the Olympics. Paralympians suffer from Impaired Muscle Power, Impaired Passive Range of Movement, Limb Deficiency, Leg Length Difference, Short Stature, Hypertonia, Ataxia, Athetosis, Vision Impairment, and Intellectual Impairment.
Since 1988, Winter and Summer Paralympic Games have been held regularly. It was held almost immediately after the Olympic Games. The first Summer Paralympic Games was held in 1960 in Rome, Italy. All the Paralympic Games are governed by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).
The beginning of the Paralympics was from a small gathering of British World War II veterans in 1948. Now, it is one of the largest International Sporting events. The reason for the Paralympic Games is to give equal treatment and opportunity to the para-athletes.
In the Paralympics, athletes are divided into ten disability categories. These are based on their level of impairment, in a functional classification system. It differs from sport to sport.
India has been taking part in the Paralympics since the beginning, i.e., since 1960. Also, India competed in 11 editions of the Paralympic Games.
Till now, India has won 31 medals at the Paralympic Games. Those 31 medals consist of 9 Golds, 12 Silvers, and 10 Bronze medals. The individual athletes played an important role in winning the medals for India in the Paralympics.
Now, let us have a look at all the Paralympic medals India have won till now, which are as follows:
1) Murlikant Petkar, Swimming, Men’s 50m Freestyle 3 (Gold Medal, Heidelberg 1972)
Murlikant Petkar opened the account of medals in Paralympic Games with a Gold Medal. This Indian para-swimmer finished the race in just 37.33 seconds and clinched the Gold.
2) Bhimrao Kesarkar, Men’s Javelin Throw L6 (Silver Medal, Stoke Mandeville & New York 1984)
Bhimrao Kesarkar won Silver Medal in the Men’s Javelin Throw L6. He throws the javelin at a distance of 34.55m. He also competed in the Men’s 100m Freestyle L6 event but ended up at 5th position in his heat.
3) Joginder Singh Bedi, Men’s Shot Put L6 (Silver Medal, Stoke Mandeville & New York 1984)
Joginder Singh Bedi is one of India’s best Paralympians. He won 3 medals in different sports categories in a particular year of the Paralympic Games. With a distance of 10.08m, he won the Silver Medal.
4) Joginder Singh Bedi, Men’s Javelin Throw L6 (Bronze Medal, Stoke Mandeville & New York 1984)
His second medal in Stoke Mandeville & New York 1984 Paralympics came in Javelin Throw L6. He made a throw of 34.18m and grabbed the Bronze.
5) Joginder Singh Bedi, Men’s Discus Throw L6 (Bronze Medal, Stoke Mandeville & New York 1984)
The Bronze Medal in Discus Throw L6 was the third medal of Joginder Singh Bedi in an edition of the Paralympic Games. He made the throw at the distance of 28.16m.
6) Devendra Jhajharia, Men’s Javelin Throw F44/46 (Gold Medal, Athens 2004)
Devendra won first Gold Medal in the Javelin Throw in the Paralympic Games. In the category of F44/46, he managed to send his javelin at the distance of 62.15m, which ensures Gold for him.
7) Rajinder Singh Rahelu, Men’s Powerlifting 56kg (Bronze Medal, Athens 2004)
Rajinder Singh Rahelu won the Bronze Medal for India in Men’s Powerlifting, 56kg weight category. He lifted the weight of 157.5kgs and secured 3rd position. He also tried at Beijing 2008 Paralympics but finished at 5th position.
8) Girish N Gowda, Men’s High Jump F42 (Silver Medal, London 2012)
India won the only medal at the London 2012 edition of the Paralympic Games. Girish N Gowda won Silver in the High Jump F42 category. Girish lost his Goad because of countback. Both Girish and Illiesa Delana of Fiji jumped 1.74m high.
9) Mariyappan Thangavelu, Men’s High Jump F42 (Gold Medal, Rio 2016)
Mariyappan Thangavelu won Gold at Men’s High Jump F42 at Rio 2016 Paralympics. He jumped at the height of 1.89m. Last year, he received the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award.
10) Varun Singh Bhati, Men’s High Jump F42 (Bronze Medal, Rio 2016)
Varun Singh Bhati was also there in the Men’s High Jump F42 category, along with Mariyappan Thangavelu. He made the jump of 1.86m and secured Bronze.
11) Devendra Jhajharia, Men’s Javelin Throw F46 (Gold Medal, Rio 2016)
Devendra Jahjharia won the second Gold Medal in the Paralympic Games at the Rio 2016 Paralympics. With a distance of 63.97m, he grabs the Gold in Men’s Javelin Throw F46 category. He also received Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna in 2017.
12) Deepa Malik, Women’s Shot Put F53 (Silver Medal, Rio 2016)
She is the first Indian woman to win a Paralympic Medal. In the women's Shot Put F53 category she made a throw of 4.61m and won Silver Medal. In 2019, she received the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award. Currently, she is the president of the Paralympic Committee of India.
13) Bhavina Patel, Women’s Singles Table Tennis Class 4 (Silver Medal, Tokyo 2020)
Bhavina Patel’s Silver in Tokyo 2020 is India’s first medal in Table Tennis. In her debut Paralympic, she upset many of the legends in this category. She settled for Silver after getting defeated by world no. 1 player Zhou Ying of China.
14) Nishad Kumar, Men’s High Jump T47 (Silver Medal, Tokyo 2020)
With a jump of 2.06m in the Men’s High Jump T47 category, Nishad Kumar won Silver in Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. With this jump, he equals his Asian record.
15) Avani Lekhara, Women’s 10m Air Rifle Shooting Standing SH1 (Gold Medal, Tokyo 2020)
19-year-old Avani Lekhara scripted history by winning a historic Gold at Tokyo 2020. In the women's 10m air rifle shooting standing SH1 final, she set a new Paralympic record of 249.6. She became the first Indian woman to win a Gold in the Paralympics.
16) Devendra Jhajharia, Men’s Javelin Throw F46 (Silver Medal, Tokyo 2020)
Silver in Men’s Javelin Throw F46 is the third medal for Devendra Jhajharia in the Paralympic Games. This time, he threw his personal best of 64.97m in the final.
17) Sundar Singh Gurjar, Men’s Javelin Throw F46 (Bronze Medal, Tokyo 2020)
Sundar Singh Gurjar shared the podium along with Devendra Jhajharia in Men’s Javelin Throw F46 category. He made his season’s best of 64.01 in the final.
18) Yogesh Kathuniya, Men’s Discus Throw F56 (Silver Medal, Tokyo 2020)
Yogesh Kathuniya won his first medal in the Paralympic Games with his best attempt. In the men's discus throw F56 class final, he threw at the distance of 44.58m and won a Silver medal.
19) Sumit Antil, Men’s Javelin Throw F64 (Gold Medal, Tokyo 2020)
This was one of the best moments for India in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics. In the final of the men’s javelin throw F64 category, Sumit Antil broke his world record thrice and won the Gold medal.
Sumit began his throw with 66.95m, breaking his previous world record. In the second attempt, he again broke his record by making a throw of 68.08m. In his fifth attempt, he made a throw of 68.55m. That gave India a place at the top step on the podium.
20) Singhraj Adhana, Men’s 10m Air Pistol Shooting SH1 (Bronze Medal, Tokyo 2020)
Singhraj Adhana won the second medal for India in the Paralympics. He won bronze in men’s 10m air pistol SH1 class. Snghraj shot 216.8 in the final to win the Bronze.
21) Mariyappan Thangavelu, Men’s High Jump T42 (Silver Medal, Tokyo 2020)
This was Mariyappan Thangvelu’s second medal in the Paralympic Games. In the men’s high jump T42 class, he cleared the 1.86m mark. This ensured Silver for the defending champion.
22) Sharad Kumar, Men’s High Jump T42 (Bronze Medal, Tokyo 2020)
Sharad Kumar joined Thangavelu on the podium in the men’s high jump T42 class. He successfully cleared the 1.83m mark but failed to clear the 1.86m mark. Thus, took the Bronze.
23) Praveen Kumar, Men’s High Jump T64 (Silver Medal, Tokyo 2020)
Praveen Kumar won Silver in the men’s high jump T64 class with the jump of 2.07m in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics. With this, he broke his Asian record of 2.05m.
24) Avani Lekhara, Women’s 50m Rifle 3 Positions SH1 (Bronze Medal, Tokyo 2020)
After winning Bronze in women’s 50m rifle 3 positions SH1, Avani Lekhara becomes the first Indian to win two medals in the Paralympic Games. She scored 445.9 in the final made her in the third position.
25) Harvinder Singh, Men’s Individual Recurve - Open Archery (Bronze Medal, Tokyo 2020)
Harvinder Singh’s Bronze in men’s individual recurve is the first medal for India in Archery. In the bronze medal match, he defeated South Korea’s Kim Min Su 6-5 via shoot-off.
26) Manish Narwal, Men’s 50m Pistol SH1 (Gold Medal, Tokyo 2020)
Manish Narwal shot a record-setting score at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics. He won Gold in men’s 50m pistol SH1. He scored 218.2, which is a new record in the Paralympic Games.
27) Singhraj Adhana, Men’s 50m Pistol SH1 (Silver Medal, Tokyo 2020)
Singhraj Adhana finished second in the men’s 50m pistol SH1. It was his second medal in Tokyo 2020. He scored 216.7 in the final and finished behind Manish Narwal.
28) Pramod Bhagat, Men’s Singles Badminton SL3 (Gold Medal, Tokyo 2020)
Tokyo 2020 is the debut of Badminton in the Paralympic Games. Pramod Bhagat became the first Paralympic champion in the men’s singles badminton SL3 category. He defeated Great Britain’s Daniel Bethell 21-14, 21-17 and became champion.
29) Manoj Sarkar, Men’s Singles Badminton SL3 (Bronze Medal, Tokyo 2020)
Manoj Sarkar won Bronze in the men’s singles badminton SL3 category. It is the same category in which Pramod Bhagat won the Gold. Manoj defeated Japan’s Daisuke Fujihara 22-20, 21-13 to secure the third position.
30) Suhas Yathiraj, Men’s Singles Badminton SL4 (Silver Medal, Tokyo 2020)
Suhas Yathiraj secured the second position in the men’s singles badminton SL4 category. He is an IAS Officer in India. In the tough battle against Lucas Mazur of France, he lost 21-15, 15-21, 17-21.
31) Krishna Nagar, Men’s Singles Badminton SH6 (Gold Medal, Tokyo 2020)
The final medal in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games came from Krishna Nagar. He won Gold in the men’s singles badminton SH6 class. In the final against Chu Man Kai from Hong Kong, he won 21-17, 16-21, 21-17 and bags the Gold.
That was the list of all medalists of the Paralympic Games for India till now. The best thing in this list is that more than half of the medals from India's total medals came just in Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.
Badminton, Shooting, Javelin Throw, and High Jump are the events where Indian para-athletes have performed exceptionally well and won multiple medals. Especially badminton is a boon for India in Tokyo 2020.
Since this was the debut of badminton in the Paralympic Games, we were unaware of our badminton players. But the way they displayed their skills and won medals had made every Indian proud.
The Paralympic Games are not that much popular compared to the Olympic Games. We often do not show that much respect to our Paralympians. That is what we need to change. Paralympians fight with their disability and make us proud in the world's biggest tournament. They are the gems.
That is all about the Paralympic Games and medals won by India in Paralympics till now. India is improving exponentially in the sports field and thus we should support our players and hope for such great achievement in the upcoming future events as well.
Do like and share this list as a proud Indian. Also, comment down your favorite Paralympic winners.