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Paralympians get their due, finally – P. Mariappan

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Sporting hero: Mariappan at a training session during the veteran powerlifters competitive years. He has won more than 50 medals since making his debut in 1981.



PETALING JAYA: Opportunities are few and far between for Paralympians, compared to Olympians.

Seven-time Paralympian powerlifter P. Mariappan – Malaysia’s first Paralympics medallist – said there were fewer sporting disciplines that paralympians could compete in.

He noted that there were only 23 Paralympic sports compared to 42 in the Olympics.

Mariappan won Malaysia’s first Paralympics medal with a bronze in Seoul (1988) and followed it up with another bronze in Barcelona (1992).

He began in the Arnhem Paralympics (1980) before his final Games in Beijing (2008).

He said that during most of his time as an athlete, Paralympians had no coaches; they relied on support from the Society of the Orthopaedically Handicapped Malaysia and Paralympics Council of Malaysia.

He also spoke about how they had to use their own funds for their training.

Mariappan was happy that Paralympians would now get the same rewards and lifetime monthly allowances as their fellow Olympians.

Until 2008, he said, the reward was RM80,000 (gold), RM40,000 (silver) and RM20,000 (bronze) for Paralympian medallists. After that it was upgraded to RM300,000, RM200,000 and RM100,000 respectively.

Source by: Internet

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