Suffering from permanent disability in leg, Mariyappan never knew he would create history in the high jump. But he did. In his school days, he was motivated by his physical education instructor to try ‘high jumping’. It was when his life took a complete U-turn. He gradually developed a penchant for that sport and started growing from strength to strength.
After putting on a candid show at the Indian national para-athletics championships, where he impressed many people with his incredible talent, he was mentored by his current coach Satyanarayana in the year 2015.
In March 2016, Mariyappan had cleared a distance of 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in) in the men’s high jump T–42 event at the IPC Grand Prix in Tunisia and thereby it helped him qualify for the Rio Paralympics.
Mariyappan attained an ultimate glory in Rio as he won a gold medal in the men’s high jump T–42 event, with a massive leap of 1.89 m (6 ft 2 in).
It was nothing more than what Mariyappan’s determination deserved. He might be on the receiving end early on in life with all setbacks but the Tamil Nadu native came out on top and fought and then reaped the much-needed rewards.
Mariyappan Thangavelu not only made his family proud but also the entire nation as well. He etched his name in the record books and to make his journey interesting, he is only 24 years old and has a lot of spirit left in him to win more medals for India.