Ankur Dhama is endowed with extra-ordinary talent. He has been thriving against all the odds life has thrown at him. His childhood story is unlike any of us. He was born in Baghpat, a small village in Uttar Pradesh, to a family of farmers. He started losing his vision gradually when he was five by the time he turned 6, he was bereft of complete vision.
It was Dhama’s resolute spirit that has kept him succeeding. After the suggestion from his doctor, he moved to Delhi and attended JPM Senior Secondary School for the Blind at Lodhi Road. It was there, Dhama met with new-found love – the racing track. Despite being completely visually impaired, he went on winning races on the track and eventually participated in his first international event.
After scoring great grades in school, Ankur Dhama enrolled in the prestigious St.Stephens College. It was here that he first got to hear about the para games for the differently abled from the Indian Blind Sports Association. The Indian Blind Sports Association has been organizing national sports meets for the Blind jointly with Blind Relief Association (BRA) once every two years.
Seeing his seniors participate in the event, which brought hundreds of enthusiastic blind sports persons from all over the country together at one place, motivated Dhama to join in as well. Dhama has been running faster and faster ever since he began training in 2006. He first competed internationally while still in school. He won two golds—the first of many—at the World Youth and Student Championships in 2009. He was selected because, at the 2008 Indian Blind Sports Association’s National Meet, he won gold and set the junior records for both 400 and 800 metres. He covered them in 1:1 minutes and 2:25 minutes, respectively, breaking previous records of 1:3 minutes and 2:37 minutes.
He kept at sports, while also studying for his degree. The multi-faceted athlete has excelled at turning in excellent grades while fulfilling the demands of a career in competitive sport. After the early setback in life, Ankur has run through every obstacle and overcome them with his grit and resolve.
His undeterred determination rewarded with a fitting gift in 2014 when he won one silver and two bronze medals at the Asian Para Games. represented India in the Men’s 800m, 1500m & 5000m event. He won the 2 Bronze medals in the 5000m & 1500m and a Silver medal in the 800m event.
It was the moment must have felt fulfilled; for it was the mighty will triumphing all odds. Ankur had another moment to savour in 2016 when he represented India at the Paralympic Games in Rio. For his accomplishments on the tracks, he was awarded the Arjuna award in 2018. Ankur is trying to get better and perform to his fullest. He is targeting the Paralympic Games of 2020. Ankur Dhama’s story is everything that will aspire and inspire you to go out there, and win at life.