On 19 June 2021 when the final score took Delhi to the first position, Gunocean’s home came alive with loud cheer and triumph. Cake and home-made pizzas completed the celebration, also being witnessed by the other Delhi parents through a video call. His home was a hub for practise and also a destination where the finals were played by three more Athletes.

It had been a month since team Delhi practised daily two hours in the morning and two in the evening virtually. Keeping a count of the specified drills, tracking the time, discussing and reshuffling the furniture to get the best set-up and the frame, all while battling technical glitches, everything scored an ace on the 19th. Mr PS Bedi, Gunocean’s father, volunteered to keep a count of the scores of all the team players and map their progress. When Gunocean started with ball-tapping on day one, he could barely do so for 30 seconds. Regular practise of 25 days made him reach his highest score at 258 taps!

Witnessing an improvement to such an extent in her son, Ms Damanpreet Kaur Bedi, felt like she had received a trophy. It overwhelmed both her and her husband, to recall, the moments when Gunocean was at the brink of giving up. Ms Damanpreet , herself did the drills along-side her son, to show how even she would often get it wrong. Both his parents swiftly pulled out moments of lost victory of celebrity Cricketers from the net, for their only son to see how winning and losing co-existed in the larger sporting experience. The Area Director, Ms Neeti Saxena, the Coach, Mr Sandeep Gulliya, all connected to ensure that the spirit remained afloat. With all getting together and Gunocean determined to participate, he emerged a winner

Gunocean now 18 yrs, got his first seizure at the age of three, before which all seemed normal with his development. He could attend a mainstream school until grade 3. With his hyperactivity increasing and learning ability dropping, his parents were asked to have him join a special school. The word ‘Special’ that came as a shock to his parents challenged them to re -plan their lives. What followed was the many doctors they approached and a stream of schools they tried. They experienced heart-breaking moments of seeing their son being bullied.

Overwhelmed by her son’s achievements, Ms Damanpreet said, “One day when my husband went to the park to give the regular medication to Gunocean, he saw his hands tied with a rope. Much younger kids than him, were thrilled when they did this. And another time, when they were aero-modelling, the model aircraft got stuck in the branch of a tree. They told Gunocean to climb the tree to bring it back, and asked him to jump from there. He pulled out the aircraft and jumped, and fractured his leg. Why did they do this and how could they be thrilled with it. Perhaps they did not see what we see today. What makes me happy is to see the potential in my son, which this event has brought out.”

The ESPN supported Cricket Competition is Gunocean’s first participation with SO Bharat. His participation has improved his skills, given him friends, and introduced the family to more families who share common experiences. They feel sports is important and would like to have their son participate regularly. While Mr Bedi is the Head of the Department of IT and Training & Placement at the Guru Tegh Bahadur Institute of Technology, Delhi, Ms Bedi , is a Dietician having authored a book on ‘Keto Diet’ in collaboration with AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences).

Extremely ecstatic on the victory of his team, Gunocean also candidly questioned his mother “Will there be no cup like in IPL (Indian Premier League)?”, as for him this was no less a Competition than any other   

Special Olympics World Games


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