The inspirational Deepa Malik struck silver in the women's Shot Put F-52 event at the Paralympics 2016 on Monday, becoming the first woman para athlete in the process to win a medal at the quadrennial games for the impaired athletes.
45-year-old Deepa, who is an accomplished swimmer, adventure sports player, international athlete, biker, as well as an entrepreneur, shot a personal best of 4.61m over six attempts. She came behind Fatema Nedham of Bahrain (4.76m), while Dimitra Korokida of Greece took bronze.
Deepa will now receive a cash award of Rs 4 crore under Haryana Sports Scheme for the achievement. The Sports Ministry, meanwhile, had also announced the silver medallist from the games would receive a cash award of Rs. 50 lakh.
She was confined to a wheelchair in 1999 owing to a spinal tumour which made her paraplegic (paralysed from waist down). She had three tumour surgeries and 183 stitches between her shoulder blades. The gifted athlete now has a total of 54 national gold medals and 14 international medals (including the silver in Paralympics 2016) in swimming, javelin throw and shot put.
Deepa now becomes the second Indian athlete to win a gold in the Rio Paralympics. Bengaluru's Mariyappan Thangavelu earlier won the coveted medal for the nation in the men's high jump T-42 event.