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Meet Divij Shah: India's Para-cycling Champion

Written By Dylan Dsouza | Mumbai | Published:

Hack:

  • Divij Shah bagged silver at the Asian Para-cycling Championship held in Bahrain a few months ago. 
  • The two-time Silver medalist is getting ready to compete at the Asian Paralympic games in Indonesia and also has his eyes set on the 2020 Paralympics to take place in Tokyo

Divij Shah was just four years old when he lost his hand due to a freak accident and had to be amputated. However, he was determined not to let that one accident hold him back as he decided to defy the odds. Fast forward to the present day, 25-year-old Divij, has tried his hand at everything from U-16 cricket to being a successful financial analyst.

READ: "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

If there is something that Divij has not done in his life, it is giving up. Hailing from Bengaluru, he mastered cycling in few months and bagged silver at the Asian Para-cycling Championship held in Bahrain a few months ago. 

Speaking about this tremendous feat, he said: The Asian Games was really special, as it was the first time i got to put on the Indian jersey and represent my country, which has been my dream all throughout my childhood. That was a very special moment for me and that's what kept me motivated to achieve more success further." 

READ: "Don't Need Pity Or Sympathy; Only Want To Be Empowered," Says Paralympic Silver Medalist Deepa Malik

As a physically challenged person in India, nothing came easy for Divij. And, India's complete lack of interest in any sport other than cricket was yet another obstacle he faced. Despite his path being lined with hurdles, he didn’t give up. Talking about his struggles and how he overcame them, he said:

"When the Indian contingent underlined its supremacy at the Asian Para-Cycling Championships, there was barely any media coverage. However, my friends and family have been really supportive as they've helped spread the message on social media."

Nevertheless, the team of eight that represented India won gold, silver, and bronze. Currently, Divij is getting ready to compete at the Asian Paralympic games in Indonesia and also has his eyes set on the 2020 Paralympics to take place in Tokyo. He is also involved in raising funds for the Aditya Mehta Foundation so that other para-athletes with no financial help can realise their dreams.

The two-time Silver medalist, para-athlete concludes with a powerful statement that he lives by. Divij Shah believes that fear is the greatest disability of all and it shouldn't get in the way of what you plan on achieving. 

"It doesn't really matter what you don't have, what really matters is what you want and what you can do with it."

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