Sandeep Chaudhary, 24, a rising Paralympic athlete in the Indian diaspora, is having a gala time off the field. His name has been recommended for the Arjuna Award by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports for the year 2020. “It’s an honour to be bestowed with the Arjuna Award. It’s a result of my honest conviction towards my game. To get such a level of recognition is never an easy task but I am delightful,” said Sandeep who had also scored his name in Forbes Asia’s lost of ‘30 under 30 in the Entertainment and Sports category’ earlier this year.
Due to the pandemic, the year was not so exciting in terms of sports, but still, Sandeep has had his moments of joys. “Both the recognitions have given me so much motivation and have inspired me to do much better in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics scheduled for next year,” he said. The man of the moment is a record holder in F44 category while he hurled javelin to 66.18 metre in 2019 while playing at World Para Athletics Championship in Dubai, 2019, improving his own previous record of 65.80 metre. He has already qualified for Tokyo Paralympic, 2021. Being a sportsman, he feels that he had an edge over others in dealing with the pandemic. “We go through so many highs and lows while in a single game that we become prone to handling such tough situations. Pandemic has given us some extra time to prepare for the Olympics and if we utilize this time well, we can make it big,” he added.
While responding to the query over so many names having been listed for the national awards this year, Sandeep dodged the question well and stated that everyone had an individual thought to express but if more people were conferred with honour it’s always good as such honour enhanced the approach of a sportsperson. However, Sandeep’s parents were not available to talk but speaking on their behalf, he said that they were extremely happy and proud of his achievements. “My father is a government officer and for him it’s like a dream come true. They want me to come home as early as possible and share this joy with them,” he said.
Since the government has eased the lockdown norms, Sandeep has started his preparations at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium with his other colleagues and is feeling more energetic than ever. “Definitely, the news of getting Arjuna Award has given me an utmost happiness and all my friends are excited about it as well. Though, I am trying my level best not to exaggerate this fact and keep myself calm and composed for the coming challenges,” said Sandeep.