“I got into the competitive sports at the age of 36, and I won my Olympic silver at the age of 46. I have paralysis. I have no sensation below chest. I had 200 stitches on my body during the three operations I underwent. But it didn’t stop me from winning an Olympic medal,” said the first Indian female Paralympics silver medallist Deepa Malik.
She was speaking after inaugurating the Dasara sports meet at Chamundi Vihara stadium, on Saturday.
“I was born in Bengaluru. I had my operations for the life threatening tumours. Thus I was even reborn in Karnataka. It feels homely to be back in Karnataka, Mysuru, that too during the auspicious Mysuru Dasara. Sports give us strength, ability and make us stay young. I am thankful to the government of Karnataka for bestowing love and support on me,” she said.
“Sports should be played with the real spirit. Deepa Malik inspired us a lot by telling us her story. We have to stay positive and courageous against the odds to come out victorious. The generation next needs to carry the legacy of such brave sports personalities and we should be motivated by her spirited words. I have been representing Karnataka in National level badminton for over ten years. I feel proud to be born in this state,” said renowned badminton player Ashwini Ponnappa.
“Karnataka is looking forward to have a unique sports policy in country. Sports students should get enough opportunities, job security and quality training to achieve in the field of sports. Karnataka is stepping into transforming the sports field and we will not make the policies sitting in the air conditioned room, but these policies will be designed based on the opinions of the sports personalities,”said Pramodh Madhwaraj, Minister for Sports and Fisheries.
District In- Charge minister Dr H C Mahadevappa, Deputy Commissioner D Randeep, Superintendent of Police Ravi D Chenannavar, athletes from all the districts were present on the occasion.