Niranjan Mukandan is a 24-year-old para-swimmer from Bengaluru who has a condition known as Spina Bifida and clubbed feet by birth has won 5 gold medals at the Norwegian Swimming Championships 2019.
As per Mayo Clinic, ‘Spina bifida is a birth defect that occurs when the spine and spinal cord don’t form properly.’ And clubfoot is a condition wherein the baby’s foot is twisted out of shape or position.
Rather than being a victim of his birth defects, Niranjan defied all odds and went on to become a swimmer.
As per Bangalore Mirror, he has had 17 surgeries to have both of his legs straightened up which had been twisted because of muscle compression. One of these surgeries took 16 hours long to get operated and the process was carried out when he was 6 years old. Shockingly, 32 metal rods were inserted in his legs during the surgery
He had to undergo major surgery in December last year and was also put on complete bed rest for over 2 months. “We discovered the (ankle) injury pretty late, which unfortunately delayed the recovery process”, he was quoted to as saying by Bangalore Mirror.
He then wrote a success story for himself as he won 5 medals in the following championships: 200m IM (individual medley), 200m breaststroke, 100m freestyle, 50m butterfly and 50m breaststroke.
After proudly winning these medals for India at the Norwegian swimming championships, Niranjan crossed the 50 medals mark in his colourful career.
Niranjan also made the Forbes U30 list recently.
Niranjan had started swimming when he was 8 years old on his doctor’s suggestion to help with his lower body movements.
He started developing an interest in the sport and started to train for some tough competitions. He said, “If I am unable to train due to injury, I visualise myself in the pool swimming. I try not to lose focus and prepare myself mentally.”
As per Bangalore Mirror, Niranjan is a huge Rahul Dravid fan and also thinks of Michael Phelps as his biggest idol.
He is once again on an important mission to secure a gold medal for the country in Paralympics. For winning many competitions in his life, he has been conferred with the National Best Para Sportsperson Award in 2015 by the government of India.
He also received the Eklavya Award in the year 2016 from the Karnataka government for incredible performance in sports and in the same year awarded by the Sports Writer Association of Bangalore.
He also holds the Asian record for timing 03:16:01 in the Para Swimming World Series that was held Berlin in 2018.
It was Neeraj Chopra’s day to write a success story! He did it! For those who are still figuring out who is Neeraj, he is a fantastic javelin throw player. He has been the fierce force of the sport at the Asian Games held at Jakarta, Indonesia.
With sheer tenacity and intensity, Neeraj Chopra gave India the first javelin gold medal in Asiad history. For a while now, it’s been raining golds for India and it’s fair to say that our sporting future is in safe hands. Neeraj Chopra’s personal best throw in his third attempt recorded 88.06 m, which is a junior world record.
He is just 20 years old. As we all know that age is just a number, he showed what he is capable of sealing the big deal. Quite interestingly, he became the first Indian to bag gold in the javelin throw at the Commonwealth Games earlier this year.
Neeraj Chopra’s gold medal means that this is India’s 41st medal at the Asian Games 2018. Counting all the medals, India now has 8 gold medals, 13 silver medals and 20 bronze medals.
Chopra has been in a sensational form heading into the 18th edition of the Asiads and much to everyone’s expectations, he carved out a reputation for himself as a successful athlete. India is proud of you!