Tough, not impossible: Courageous Anandan is India’s Man of Steel

Mumbai: The smile on his face and his body language say it all. Despite, losing both his legs during a routine search at the LOC in Jammu & Kashmir in the year 2008, Para-athlete Anandan Gunasekaran’s life has taken a turn for better after the accident.

For some, an accident of this magnitude could have ruined their lives but not for this athlete as it has opened a new chapter in his life.

Today he one of the few athletes who has won many laurels for the country and himself. Thanks to GoSports it has been a blessing in disguise for this Kumbakonam Fauji Subedar Gunasekaran. And now he guns for the Tokyo Olympics medals.

It was in the year 2008 an able athlete from the Indian Army lost both his legs while on duty on the LOC, and it did not take long for this 32-year-old Armyman Anandan to turn the table on his disability to make able athlete in his own way because of his determination and dedication. He has to go through the grind after the accident, and he even kept his family in dark for a couple of months before telling them about the accident.

“It was all over for me I thought and even the life without legs I thought that I would be confined to the rooms at the Paraplegic centre in Pune,” Gunasekaran told Free Press Journal.

But that was not to be as he took the inspiration from the world steel blade runner from the South African Oscar Pistorius and went about in his mission to run again. It did take some time for him to walk first, and with the support from the Indian Army and now GoSports, his journey is almost on the right track. “It is tough but I am sure nothing is impossible if they have the determination and dedication. And it is the just the question of overcoming hurdles and setting targets, things will become normal” he said.

Son of an auto-rickshaw driver, Guna, as he is fondly called by his friends, is the only Indian steel blade athlete who has made India proud.

Talking to this reporter on the sidelines of the fourth edition of Go Sports Athletes Conclave at the Courtyard by Marriott in Andheri East, Guna said life has changed for him in many folds.

"The cost of these steel blades costs around Rs five lakh, and it is GoSports who are the main sponsors, and my employer the Indian Army help me in training at the Army Sports Institute in Pune." The life span of these steel blades is just one year and it would take another month to get used to the new blades.

“We try not to use the new blades as it would consume time in getting adjusted, he will be using the same blade while qualifying for the Games,” said Deepthi Bopaiah, executive director of GoSports Foundation.