My athletic career started in 1983 during the District Sports Meet at Kottayam. I won’t call it the path-breaking event in my life but it was there that it all started. I managed to win the gold medal in running and throw ball events for the disabled category. Something changed from thereon.
I was born in Adukkom near Poonjar, Kottayam in the year 1976. I was born in an ordinary family where agriculture was the main source of income. I was born with a disability but I don’t remember that letting me down ever. I have had my share of bad experiences but I never let them affect me beyond a point.
School life was fun with all the sports and games events. I was very active during my schooling years and I have to thank my teachers for their help. Once I started winning medals in the District level events, I started taking myself seriously. State level recognition followed and the journey continued. By God’s grace, it’s’ still going on and I managed to keep winning medals in the seniors and masters levels as well.
Over the last 30 years, I have managed to become the World Champion in three separate categories. I consider it as a great achievement that I managed to become the world champion in the Able Bodied Category in 2008. In 2012, I became the World Champion during the World Championships for the disabled. In 2013, I managed to go a step further and became the champion in 5 separate events during the World Dwarf Games.
Arm Wrestling is an event which has given me plenty of recognition. The irony is that I got interested in arm wrestling only due to some bad experiences in school! During the games hours in school, the able bodied students used to go and play. I was always avoided as I was considered unfit. I still remember the days sitting and watching them play. In between, somewhere I realised that arm wrestling is something I can take on without my physical disability becoming a hindrance. I started arm wrestling with my fellow students at school and in no time I got hooked.
Once I reached college, I realised that arm wrestling was a prestigious event and I started taking it up seriously. I figured out that there were national and international competitions for arm wrestling. Arm wrestling needs a lot of practice and I started going to a gym from 1992. From then on, I started participating in competitions. I started off by entering events for the disabled and started winning. Soon, I entered events for the abled bodied as well and to my surprise I started winning those events as well!Though I became the National Champion plenty of times from 1994 to 2004, I never got the chance to enter an international event.
In 2005, my dream came true and I was able to be a part of the World Championships in Japan. I participated in both the General and Disabled categories. By God’s grace, I managed to win 3 medals for India during the Championships.
In 2008, I went a step further and became the World Champion in the General Category at the World Arm Wrestling Championship held in Spain. I also managed to win a silver medal in the disabled category.
During the 2009 World Championship in Egypt, I won a silver medal each in the disabled and general category. In 2010, I won a silver medal for badminton during the Paralympics in Israel. In the 2012 World Arm Wrestling Championships held in Spain, I won a gold medal and 2 silver medals.
2103 was a great year for me as I got to participate in the World Dwarf Olympic Games in Michigan. I became the World Champion in 5 different events – Badminton Singles, Badminton Doubles, Shot-put, Javelin Throw and Discus Throw.
It’s been 30 years since my athletic journey started. I believe that I have miles to go further. This journey wouldn’t have been possible without the love and affection of my close ones. I have learned that without hard work and dedication, you can’t achieve anything in life. If you are ready to work hard and make sacrifices, there is nothing that you can’t achieve in life. My life is a living example for that.
If you let your limitations take over your mind, they will destroy you. You must accept your limitations and do the best with what you have. Winning medals and championships is just a part and parcel of sports. I believe that it’s more important to inspire people and touch their lives. If I can inspire one person and give him hope in life, that will give me much more satisfaction than winning medals.
With the small gifts that God has given me, I hope to be an inspiration to people around me. I have to thank my family for their rock-solid support. Nothing would have been possible, if not for them. They are my strength and will continue to remain so. My journey has just started. I hope to be a part of your lives in my own little ways.