Manu Bhaker, Anjum Moudgil, and Anish Bhanwala Inspire at Khelo India Para Games
Olympic stalwarts Manu Bhaker, Anjum Moudgil, and Anish Bhanwala recently attended the Khelo India Para Games at the Karni Singh ranges, not as competitors, but to honor and present medals to the para-athletes. Their presence highlighted the strong bond between able-bodied and para-athletes, emphasizing the shared spirit of determination and resilience.
Speaking at the event, Manu Bhaker, who recently secured a quota for the 2024 Paris Olympics in the women’s 25m pistol event, expressed admiration for the mental strength exhibited by para-athletes. She noted that para athletes often face more significant challenges, making their achievements even more commendable.
“Para athletes are mentally stronger than us because they have more problems to face, which they overcome. And then to win a medal for the country is a huge achievement. I find motivation in the same,” said Manu, a seven-time ISSF World Cup gold medallist. She highlighted the inspiration she draws from para athletes, emphasizing the value of their stories and struggles.
Anjum Moudgil, the 2018 World Championships silver medallist in 10m air rifle, echoed Manu’s sentiments, expressing happiness at the opportunity to present medals to para winners. She praised para athletes as exemplars of passion, determination, and a refusal to make excuses despite facing significant challenges. Anjum shared her admiration for the positive attitude and daily commitment of para-athletes, emphasizing their impact on her own preparation for future competitions.
“I am constantly inspired by each and everything about the para-athletes. They do not make excuses despite all the struggles that they and their family have been through,” Anjum remarked. She expressed a desire to see able-bodied and para athletes share the podium at events like the Paris Olympics, highlighting the mutual respect and motivation they share.
Anish Bhanwala, who recently secured an Olympic quota in 25m rapid-fire pistol, also spoke about the motivation he derived from observing para athletes’ dedication and hard work. Despite being physically challenged, para athletes exemplify perseverance and commitment, serving as a source of inspiration for their able-bodied counterparts.
“I met with all the para athletes here, and they are motivated to perform in Paris next year. They have already started preparing for the same. Despite being physically challenged, they are doing a lot of hard work and training. Their dedication is quite inspiring for us as well and motivates us to do our best,” said Anish.
The presence and words of these Olympic shooters underscore the unity within the sporting community and the transformative power of shared determination. As para athletes continue to break barriers and inspire the world, the collaboration between able-bodied and para athletes promises to strengthen the fabric of the sporting world.