Mariyappan Thangavelu Biography, Athlete, Paralympics, Family, Movie & More

Mariyappan Thangavelu is a Paralympic high jumper representing India. He won the gold medal for men’s high jump held at Rio Summer Olympics. Despting beating all odds he went on to win a Gold medal and his achievement was praised in various media. Check out Mariyappan Thangavelus Biography, disability, family, movie, facts & more. 


Full NameMariyappan Thangavelu
Nick NameMariyappan
Famous forParalympic High Jumper
Birthday28th of June 1995
Age23 years as of 2018
Sun-sign Cancer
Birth PlacePeriavadagampatti, Tamil Nadu, India
Lives inBangalore, India
Race / EthnicityIndian

Physical Appearance

Height5.5ft / 166.50 cm
Weight62 kgs / 136 lbs
Hair colorBlack
Eye ColorBlack

Education & Career

SchoolGovernment High school Periyavadagampatti, Salem
CollegeMBA at Periyar University, Salem
ProfessionProfessional Athlete - High Jumper
CoachSatyanarayana Shimoga

Social Media & Contact Details

Mobile No+91 86085 80846


While he was walking to school at the age of 5, a drunk bus driver run over his leg which caused permanent disability in his right leg. The right leg below knee level was completely crushed but that did not stop Mariyappan from reaching greater heights in life. In spite being disabled, Mariyappan strongly believed in education and went onto school and even graduated from MBA in Periyar University, Salem.


Mariyappan has 5 siblings, 4 brothers and 1 sister. Mariyappans father Thangavelu abandoned his mother Saroja and children’s during their early life. Working as a daily labourer his mother Saroja raised her 6 children’s.

mariyappan thangavelu mother saroja
Saroja, Mariyappan Thangavelus mother. Source – Indiaglitz Youtube


Mariyappan Thangavelu participated in men’s high jump T-42 category of Rio Summer Paralympics 2016 and went on to win the Gold Medal representing India.

mariyappan in paralympics
Mariyappan about to jump in Paralympics 2016.

Movie (Biopic)

On 1st of January 2017, Shah Rukh Khan unveiled the poster of the yet to be directed movie titled “Mariyappan“. Aishwarya Dhanush will be directing the biopic movie. The movie will go through his life journey showing the struggles, ups & downs, difficulties faced by disabled people in India, how he beat all the odds and finally participated & won the Rio Paralympic Gold Medal.

mariyappan movie poster
“Mariyappan” Biopic first look poster. Source – Twitter


  • Padma Shri award in 2017, which is the fourth highest civilian award in India.
  • Arjuna Award in 2017 by Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India.
  • Mariyappan received around 4 crores INR from various State Governments, Ministries, individuals etc as an award and recognition for his Gold Medal at 2016 Rio Summer Paralympics
mariyappan receiving padmashri award from pranab mukherjee
Mariyappan receiving Padma Shri award from Pranab Mukherjee


Mariyappans speech at Velammal College 30 years celebration. Mariyappan Thangavelu was the chief guest of the function. Interacting with the students over there he shared his inspiring life journey.


  • Mariyappan Thangavelu was permanently disabled in his right leg since the age of 5.
  • His single mother Saroja raised him and 5 other children’s as a daily labourer.
  • His favourite sport is volleyball.
  • Mariyappan Thangavelu is of shy nature and usually does not interact much but he was never shy of his confidence.
  • Mariyappan Thangavelu actively participated and won in many schools and inter college events.
  • Mariyappan Thangavelu created history when he won the gold medal at 2016 Rio Paralympics for Men’s high jump. India had not won a gold medal in Paralympics since 2004. 
  • Satyanarayana Shimoga his coach was instrumental in his success.
  • It was only after Mariyappan met Satyanarayana, he started to wear sports shoes.
  • His coach Satyanarayana supported Mariyappan and his family by providing 10,000 INR every month.
  • Mariyappan Thangavelu was one of the youngest recipients of Padmashri Award.


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