Thu, 21 Oct 2021

New Delhi [India], September 17 (ANI): Noida DM Suhas Yathiraj who secured silver at Tokyo Paralympics feels his achievement in the 2020 Games will motivate him to go one better at Paris in 2024.

Suhas lives by the philosophy of 'sports help you conquer your own self'. He used that motto to motivate himself and clinch a silver medal in badminton at the Tokyo Paralympics. Significantly, his achievement also helped break a common stereotype in India that does not equate sporting excellence with academics.

"I think this (Tokyo Paralympics) medal was celebrated by everyone in the country. The reception that we got in New Delhi airport (shows that)," Suhas told Olympics.com.

"I think the myth that studies and sports can't be pursued together has been broken. Many are surprised that a person can be good in both studies and sports. Parents also want their children to be good in studies and sports. They look at studies as the more stable option. I think many of the youth can at least get the confidence to pursue both."It was only in 2015-16 that he turned his attention to para-badminton and has since been managing his duty as the District Magistrate of Gautam Buddha Nagar and his training as an elite athlete.

The way the nation celebrated the success of the Indian medallists also makes Suhas believe that the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics is a watershed moment.

"The amount of support, love that everyone is showing is great. There was a time when celebrities in the country used to be film stars and only cricketers," he said.

"But I think now, the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics would be a watershed moment in the history of India, because of the amount of adulation and recognition the Olympians and Paralympians are getting. I think it's definitely heart-warming," he added.

And badminton remains a spiritual experience for him.

"Badminton is meditation for me. I am extremely methodical, I develop my attack skills, defense skills, my reach. I work minutely on that part and also how I would cope up in the match. I visualise matches in my head. So yeah, I do have methods that give me comfort while playing," Suhas explained.

Moreover, he is not active on social media and stays away from it, in part because of his professional role and because he believes that it doesn't add value to his life.

"I am not at all a reserved person because of the administrative job that I hold. I have intentionally kept myself away from social media because I don't see any value addition through it. I have always believed that we should not go behind fame or money or anything," he said. (ANI)

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