Rajinder Singh Rahelu: Para-Athlete Who Beat Polio to Win Medal at CW Games

Get insights into the life and achievements of Rajinder Singh Rahelu. He is a CW Game Para Athlete who won medals for the nation.

A paralympic and para-athlete powerlifter from India named Rajinder Singh Rahelu was born on July 22, 1973, in the Punjabi village of Mehsampur. Rahelu, who was diagnosed with polio at the age of 8 and infantile paralysis, never gave up on his aspirations and is now making the country proud of him.

He Won his First-Ever Powerlifting Championship

At the Punjab Open Meet in 1997, Rahelu won his first-ever powerlifting championship. He won the National Powerlifting Championship in Hyderabad in August 1998. His accomplishments didn’t end there; he later went on to earn a bronze medal at the 56 kg division of the 2004 Summer Paralympics in Athens. Additionally, this was India’s first medal ever in paralympic powerlifting.


He was Awarded the Arjuna Award as a Para Athlete

Rajinder received The Arjuna Award, one of India’s top sporting honours, in 2006. Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, a former Indian president, presents Rajinder with the Arjuna Award.

The Olympic gold medallist from Athens in 2004 was unable to repeat his valiant performance at the Beijing Summer Paralympics in 2008. Despite having lifted a total of 170 kg, he came in fifth place out of 13 competitors in the final. He came close to winning a medal at the London Olympics in 2012.

He Beat Polio to Win Medals in the Commonwealth Games

Rahelu lost his ability to walk after contracting polio at the age of eight months. Rahelu, who was born on July 22, 1973, in Jalandhar, has watched in silence while his family has faced financial difficulties. His mother was a housekeeper, and his father was a band director.

Rahelu, the youngest of five children, made the decision to stop studying after high school. Rahelu decided to pursue a career in powerlifting in 1996 after receiving some support from a powerlifter acquaintance.

He began by lifting a weight of 75 kg, but after six months of consistent training and dedication, he was able to raise a weight of 115 kg.

He won his first powerlifting medal at the 1997 Punjab Open Meet, and he hasn’t looked back since. He won the National Powerlifting Championship the next year in Hyderabad, which greatly boosted his professional standing.

At the Summer Paralympics in 2004, he took home a bronze medal in the 56 kg division. Additionally, he competed for India at the 2008 Summer Paralympics in Beijing, where he finished in fifth place overall.

Real Inspiration

Rahelu and Jaswinder Kaur have a 6-year-old daughter named Riddhima. The Commonwealth hero is currently employed by the Punjab Sports Department, where he runs a facility in Gohawar village, next to Goraya, to train power lifters with special needs.

The life of Rajinder Singh Rahelu is the tale of a man who refused to give his destiny the last say. He battled against all barriers and masterfully surmounted difficulties to overcome his physical limitations. He and other men are the true superheroes.

His road to achievement was neither simple nor smooth. In addition to his disability, he also had to deal with financial difficulties.

A Glimpse of All His Achievements

  • At the national powerlifting competition held in Hyderabad in August 1998, Rajinder came out on top.
  • At the Delhi-based “Asian Bench-Press Championship” in 2002, he won the gold medal.
  • In the 2004 Paralympic powerlifting competition, he won India’s first medal ever.
  • Rajinder received the Arjuna Award in 2006 in recognition of his earnest efforts and unwavering commitment to sports.
  • At the Taipei 2007 IWAS (International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports) World Games, Rajinder won a silver medal.
  • 2014’s Commonwealth Games saw him win a silver medal.


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