At Rio 2016, Thangavelu won India’s first Paralympic gold medal since 2004 with victory in the men’s high jump T42. His achievements and life are now being made in to a film titled “Mariyappan” by director Aishwaryaa Dhanush.
He qualified for Rio in March 2016 clearing a height of 1.78m at the Grand Prix in Tunis, Tunisia. He secured Paralympic gold in Rio with a jump of 1.89m, an Asian record.
Encouraged to take up sport by his physical education teacher, Thangavelu got into athletics while he was a student at school in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.
He injured his leg at age nine when a bus rolled over it on his way to school, crushing it below the knee. The accident stunted the growth of his leg.
In 2015, Thangavelu completed a bachelor's degree in business administration from AVS College of Arts and Science.
|Men's High Jump T42||Final Round||2016-09-09||1|
|Men's High Jump T63||Final 1||2019-11-14||3|
|Men's High Jump T63||Final||2021-08-31||2|