From Breathless to Breathtaking, the Amazing Story of Parupalli Kashyap

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Parupalli Kashyap celebrates after winning the gold in men's singles badminton at the Commonwealth Games 2014. PTI photo
Parupalli Kashyap celebrates after winning the gold in men’s singles badminton at the Commonwealth Games 2014 in Glasgow. PTI photo

I am sure every Indian would be proud of Kashyap’s achievement as an outstanding international badminton star. What amazes me the most about the man however is his never-say-die, invincible human spirit

TAHMINA LASKAR

[dropcap]P[/dropcap]eople familiar with Hindi must have heard about the proverb: “mann ke haare haar hai, mann ke jeete jeet” (if you are defeated mentally then you most likely are defeated and if you feel like a winner then most likely you are a winner). There has been reinforcement of the saying recently with the amazing success of Parupalli Kashyap in the Commonwealth Games held in Glasgow.  So what is so special about Kashyap as an athlete or the feat that he accomplished? The answer lies in the fact that Kashyap actually fought a debilitating disease like asthma to excel in a sport as tough and demanding as badminton.

As an 11-year old kid, Kashyap first enrolled with a training camp conducted by SM Arif in Hyderabad. Later he joined the Prakash Padukone Academy in Bangalore. In 2004, they moved back to Hyderabad. Soon after, Kashyap was diagnosed with asthma. He felt that his stay in Bangalore during 2000–03 might have aggravated the condition.

Parupalli Kashyap in action at the Commonwealth Games 2014 in Glasgow
Parupalli Kashyap in action at the Commonwealth Games 2014 in Glasgow

The diagnosis came as a shock to him and he thought that his playing career was finished. Asthma meant being breathless too often and to be able to have control over one’s breath was an athlete’s most important asset. He put in a lot of effort with determination to overcome the problem.

With a positive attitude and appropriate medication though, his condition began to improve gradually. He continued his training at the Gopichand Academy.  Although he kept on winning various tournaments, his best was yet to come.

His determination is evident from the fact that he never stopped playing despite his physical condition. He went on to create history by reaching the Quarter-Finals of men’s singles at 2012 London Olympics, the only male player from India to do so.

At the Commonwealth Games, 2014 Glasgow, he won the gold medal in men’s singles which was a first in the last 32 years by India. I am sure every Indian would be proud of Kashyap’s achievement as an outstanding international badminton star. What amazes me the most about the man however is his never-say-die, invincible human spirit.

Most sporting battles are fought on the field. But for an athlete the real battle is fought within his/her own mind, forcing them to push themselves a little further, a little higher. This is what determines the final war. The same is true of life. With the necessary resolve and determination, nothing remains a faraway dream. Nothing is impossible for the never-say-die human spirit.

 

 

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