"Instead Of Working At A 9 To 7 Job I Decided To Pursue My Passion" Says 2016 Rio Paralympics High Jump Bronze Medalist Varun Bhati

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Varun Bhati was diagnosed with Polio at the age of six. He won the bronze medal for India in the 2016 Rio Paralympics

Written By Anirudh Sunilkumar | Mumbai | Updated On:

Republic TV on the 72nd Independence Day of India was opportune to interview some of the most outstanding personalities in the country who fought through unbearable circumstances in lives in order to put the nation at the forefront and take its name to new heights. 

One such person that was interviewed by Republic TV was Indian sportsman Varun Bhati who held India's name high when he won the bronze medal in high jump during the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Paralympic Games. His achievements, however, does not stop there. Bhati also made the country proud after he bit the gold medal at the 2014 China Open Athletics Championship. 

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In spite of being diagnosed with Poliomyelitis the age of six, Bhati never gave up on his dreams of representing his nation at the international front.  Bhati states that he was initially a basketball player in his school but changed his game in around 2012 to high jump.

"Being a basketball player, in the beginning, I had an upper hand when it came top high jump" he said. 

He added that during the days when he used to play basketball, his friends focussed more on studying and did not focus on sports much. However, a major driving force for Bhati was his hunger to represent India in the game of basketball. 

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Crediting a major part of his success to his parents, Bhati stated that they never pressurized him into doing anything.

"I will always thank my parents. They never forced me to only pursue studies and were open to my passion for sports" he said. 

Bhati who refrained from working at a '9 to 7' job said that he would choose sports over such a job anytime.

"Instead of working at a 9 to 7 job I decided to pursue my passion" 

Talking about his first international debut in the 2014 Asian Games where he achieved the fifth position, Bhati said that he has never been so depressed as he was when he came fifth.

 "I sat in the stands of the stadium and cried a lot. I had all plans to quit at that moment. But I didn't plan on giving up. As a result, in the coming games, I could achieve better results," he said.

Bhatia is currently supported by GoSports Foundation through the Para Champions Programme and is coached by Satyanarayana, a former national athlete. His personal best is currently a record of 1.86 meters which he achieved in the Rio Paralympics of 2016. 

He became a topic of talk among sportsperson when he registered the 'A' qualification mark for the 2012 Summer Paralympic Games in London where he had recorded a jump of 1.6 meters. In 2017 World Para Athletics Championship by clearing a jump of 1.77 meters.

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