12 Toes, Bandaged Jaw, And Indomitable Spirit - Swapna Barman Scripts History

30 Aug 2018 10:55 AM GMT
12 Toes, Bandaged Jaw, And Indomitable Spirit - Swapna Barman Scripts History
Image Credits: India.com

The heptathlon is a seven-event contest which comprises 100m hurdles, high jump, shot put and 200m on day one and long jump, javelin, 800m on day two. On the end of day one, India’s Swapna Barman was trailing China’s Wang Qingling. Swapna was also fighting a gum infection and even considered pulling out from the event.

However, the next day 21-year-old Swapna scripted history by winning India’s first heptathlon gold in the Asian Games. A triumphant victory in which even The Logical Indian community members had a small part to play.



12-toed athlete rose above challenges

Swapna comes from a difficult background. Her father who worked as a rickshaw puller has been bedridden after reportedly suffering two strokes. Her mother works as a maid and a tea-picker, as reported by The Times Of India. Swapna hails from Jalpaiguri in North Bengal and her family’s financial constraints hampered her dreams but she never complained. Today, her family members rejoice, knowing that all their sacrifice has paid off.


Born with six toes on each foot, she found it difficult and painful to adjust to normal sports shoes. In the last edition of the Asian Games in South Korea, she struggled to perform at her best because none of the footwear would fit her perfectly.



The Logical Indian take

In 2014, The Logical Indian started a campaign and a petition on Change.org titled, “Kindly Manufacture Custom-Made Shoe For Swapna Barman – The 12 Toed Indian Athlete.”

An excerpt from our 2014 article read, “Pain is a big hurdle in her sports, and she is from a very poor family to have any special footwear made. But if we all decide not to let her pain bring her down from achieving the heights in sports and making India proud, we can gift her ‘the dream’ to play without pain and bring medals for India in 2018 Asian Games.”

Four years later, with a bandaged jaw, custom-made shoes and her indomitable spirit, she became the first Indian woman to win gold in the heptathlon event at the Asian Games 2018. Today, Swapna has risen above challenges but there are many more potential medal winners in our country who need just a little bit of our support to make India proud.

We congratulate Swapna and wish her all the best in her future endeavours.

Also read: The 12-toed Indian Athlete Knows Where The Shoe Pinches


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