Indian Paralympic athlete Mariyappan Thangavelu will celebrate his 25th birthday today (June 28, 2020). Thangavelu represented India at the 2016 Summer Paralympic Games in Rio and won a gold medal in the men’s high jump T-42 category. With this win, he became India first gold medalist at the Paralympic games since 2004. So as Thangavelu turns 25, we take a look at some lesser-known facts about him.

Born in Periavadagampatti village in Salem district of Tamil Nadu, Mariyappan is one of six children (four brothers and a sister). He was interested in sport from a very young age and he first took part in a competitive event at the age of 14, where he finished second. Mariyappan currently trains under Mr.Satyanarayana, who took him under his wings after watching the Tamil-Badu born athlete’s performance at the 2013 Indian national para-athletics championships.

Lesser-Known Facts About Mariyappan Thangavelu

  • Mariyappan Thangavelu was born in Periavadagampatti village, Salem district, Tamil Nadu
  • As a young kid, Mariyappan enjoyed playing volleyball
  • Mariyappan was encouraged to take on High Jumping by his school's physical education teacher
  • At 2016 Paralympics in Rio, Mariyappan won a gold medal in men’s high jump T-42 category with a leap of 1.89 m
  • At 2019 World Para Athletics Championships, Mariyappan bagged the bronze medal with a jump of 1.80 m
  • In 2017, Mariyappan was awarded Padma Shri and Arjuna Award
  • A biopic based on Mariyappan’s life is in process and is directed by Aishwaryaa Dhanush

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jun 28, 2020 08:30 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website