Diagnosed with polio in the right leg and right hand, and have had to wade through complex surgeries since birth, para-shuttler Anand Kumar had a slew of difficult decisions to make while traversing almost always on the difficult road.
Not very long ago, it was he who became the World No. 1 in the para-badminton ranking. With a total of 110 medals in his kitty, a few can match up to his achievements at overcoming adversity with a spirit not many can bring fruition to. Imagine somebody telling you that he started playing at 19, and his next big target is to bag an Olympic medal at 41.
While the pressure mounts with every milestone that he crosses even at this age, the current World No. 7 is pinning all his hopes on a focussed routine for his forthcoming pursuit. One will beam with pride at the sight of a promising talent in Anand fighting not just societal, but a physical hindrance to reaching the pinnacle. Given only a few could have predicted just how integral he would become to the narrative of international competitions in the long run, Anand admits that he never thought of playing badminton at a professional level.
Sporting victories aside, Anand also runs a Badminton Academy of his own in the city where he has sponsored three underprivileged kids in training and equipment. Players like Anand is today cruising past the barriers that keep them within bounds and guide them to rise with flying colours.