19-year-old Avani Lekhara marked history by becoming the first woman from India to win a gold medal at Tokyo Paralympics on 30th august 2021. She made a new Paralympic record as she finished with the world record that equals a total of 249.6. On 3rd September 2021 she bagged bronze at ongoing Paralympics event in women 50 m Rifle 3P SH1.
History has been written, but we want to rejoice in the proud moment again and again. We want everyone to know that the shooter girl is the daughter of Jaipur.
Avani Lekhara: Jaipur’s Pride
Our champion Avani is a resident of Shastri Nagar, Jaipur. She completed her schooling from Kendriya Vidyalaya Number 3, Jaipur. During her school, she was among the toppers. Currently, she is pursuing a five-year degree course in law from the University of Rajasthan. Her Father, Praveen Lekhara, works in the revenue appellate authority. Her mother is Shweta Lekhara, and she has a younger brother Arnav Lekhara.
Journey To Gold: Hard work Pays
In 2012 Avani and her family met a car accident while traveling from Jaipur to Dholpur. After the accident 11 years old Avani suffered from severe spinal cord injury and was paralyzed below the waist. This incident confined her to a wheelchair and turned her life upside down, but the incident could not take away her determination to be a notch above the occurrence. Doctors advised keeping Avani mentally and physically fit, so she was enrolled at shooting range in Jagatpura, Jaipur, to keep herself occupied and set a target. Dedicated, she has been training for the past 5-6 years. According to her coach, Paralympics is how you manage your emotions and how well you perform under pressure. Begining was tough, and it took 20 shots and lots of encouragement for Avani to start the journey. Finally she fired her way to winning during her paralympics debut.
Avani sacrificed her college studies to focus entirely on sports. She missed friends reunions and parties and has been practicing all the time. Throughout her journey her family stood with her as her biggest support system.
Avani Lekhara’s Inspiration
At first, Avani was not quite taken by the idea of becoming a full-time shooter. But, later, when she read the autobiography of Abhinav Bindra ‘ A Shot at History: My Obsessive Journey to Olympic Gold and Beyond’, she got inspired and decided to create her own history.
Avani Lekhara : True Inspiration
Avani inspired everyone with the sporting Moto: life consists of holding good cards and playing those you hold well. She has finally proved that no disability can stop anyone from exercising in what they want to do.
Golden Words From Avani
After winning gold, delighted Avani says that she wants people to look at her and feel that if she can do it, anyone can. She further states that if her medal can inspire even one person, it will be great. Avani encourages everyone to believe in themselves.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot congratulated and announced prize money of Rs 3 crore for Avani. She ranks 5th in the world, and she is all set to compete in 2 more events: mixed air rifle prone, and mixed 50m rifle prone.
Keep winning and inspiring us Avani