“I wanted this medal so bad and now I have it. I don’t have words,” said a clearly ecstatic Parupalli Kashyap on winning the gold medal in badminton during the 2014 Commonwealth Games. He became the first Indian to achieve this feat in 32 years with Prakash Padukone and Syed Modi being the only others.
But, it hasn’t been all rainbows and unicorns for the ace shuttler from Hyderabad, as he has faced the adversity of suffering from asthma at the start of his career. Kashyap was diagnosed with the respiratory disorder in 2005 and it had nearly ended his blooming career prematurely. His condition only aggravated during his three-year stay in Bangalore (2000 to 2003) – a city which has a high amount of pollen in the air. But just when the asthma seemed to become a roadblock, the fighter in Kashyap came to the fore.
“It was a big shock for me. Many thought my career was over. But I was determined to fight back and put in a lot of hard work to overcome the disorder.”
Succeeding in a physical sport like badminton is draining and demanding, and the added asthmatic pressure only made it that much harder for Kashyap.
“It used to be very, very bad. I used to be sick at every tournament. I had to keep taking antibiotics and I would feel ill all the time.”
However, his spirit stood strong and thanks to a lot of effort, determination and appropriate medication, Kashyap managed to combat the adversities and motor on with his badminton career. He is still asthmatic and takes medication once a day, but the condition is no longer a hurdle for him. Overcoming such difficulties speaks volumes about a person’s character, and more so when the person in question is a representative for an entire nation.
Despite having faced these health issues, Kashyap has no regrets. “I feel really happy. I've achieved a lot. I would give 10/10 to my career. The way I've come from asthma - I've fought through. I wanted to have a history-making feat and I've achieved that with the CWG medal.”
Stories like those of Parupalli Kashyap are what inspire sportsmen and others alike, to never give up and grind through the problems you may encounter. From a point where he was almost forced to forego his career, Kashyap is now ranked 8th in the world, and is one of India’s best players currently. A great story indeed!
Quotes credited to The Times of India and First Post.