Nepal's Deepak Khadka spends most of his time in the gymnasium training others as well as preparing himself for the upcoming games.
The 27-year-old, right-leg amputee earlier this year had secured third position in the international strength lifting and inclined bench press championship under the 69+ KG physically challenged category.
Organized by World Strength Lifting Federation established in 2004, Khadka competed with athletes from 8 different nations in the 69+ KG physically challenged category. Though introduced in the international arena, the Himalayan nation is yet to recognize the category and start it.
"After winning the medal, my happiness had no bounds. It was my first international competition and I was able to secure a position in it. I didn't know how to express that happiness at that time. My family also was happy, others also supported me a lot and congratulated me on the success," Deepak told ANI.
15 years back Deepak met with an accident while he was in his mid-teens and in his final year of primary level studies and lost his right leg.
After losing a year of academic studies, Deepak struggled and continued his studies and completed his Intermediate level of academics.
The starting days of the recovery and reconciliation were not easy for him but then came his friends and supporters who in many ways groomed and supported him to bring a change in his life.
"In starting days, I was going through hardships and faced a lot of difficulties. Friends during that time supported me, amongst them one who always has been with me since my childhood is Sandeep KC. He was always on my side to boost my morale. I was fearful and stressed about the societal perception and I had my own ambitions which seemed almost impossible to achieve but he always remained supportive and supported me."
At first, it was hard for Deepak to use the crutches and roll on the wheelchairs which required others' support while moving around. Soon after the installation of prosthetic legs, mobility became easier than before also paving the way forward to joining the gym and searching the future on it.
Deepak since his early childhood wanted to join the Nepali Army as his father worked in the force. He had dreamt of following in the footsteps of his father but the accident brought a turn in his life.
"At that time (childhood), I focused on good grades to join the Army; my father also worked in Army and I had thought of following in his footsteps. But soon after the accident, I had to quit that dream."
But the end of one dream sprouted another in his mind to join the gym where his friend Sandeep stepped in and started giving him training. Deepak watched a lot of motivational videos, and speeches, and read articles about how physically challenged people are moving ahead in their lives.
"All I focused on after the incident was to make my inner self strong, motivate myself by going to the gymnasium as well as to motivate others seeing the transformation that I had been able to bring on my own life," said Deepak.
It's been 15 years since Deepak's life changed out of which half of it he has spent in the gymnasium. Now he is deeply in love with the colosseum. Apart from preparing himself physically as well as mentally, he is making some earnings while performing as a trainer.
On average, he has been earning about 30,000 Nepali Rupees (NRS) on a monthly basis which mainly supports his dietary plans.
"Gymnasium taught me about discipline. I learned more about respect after coming into the gym, the way of treating friends and behaving in front of seniors. It also helped me in anger management," said Deepak.
Deepak wears his prosthetic legs while undergoing gymnasium following the normal diets as normal people. His training session lasts for a few hours every morning and evening with timely breaks in between the exercises.
Now he is aiming to participate in another round of competition that is set to be organized in Dubai in the next six months. He is preparing to win the top position in his category.
The young sports enthusiast who chose the sports of bodybuilding and weightlifting as a career wants the government and sports bodies to recognize a category for physically challenged ones as well.
"I hope that the government introduce categories and prioritizes people like us. Introducing a category in bodybuilding and other games would prevent sports enthusiasts like us from demotivation, the Government of Nepal should create an environment to include us in the gaming sector as well." (ANI)