Amanjot, 20 yrs, is a celebrated hero in his village today as he returned with 3 Gold medals & 1 Silver in Powerlifting at the Special Olympics World Summer Games Abu Dhabi, 2019.He stays in the Village Bugga, District Fatehgarh Sahib, Punjab with his parents and a younger sister. His father is a carpenter.
Amanjot attended a mainstream school (Govt Senior Secondary School, Tanda Bhada Kalna) till the sixth grade when it was observed that he was unable to cope with studies. It was through Mr Sukhwinder Singh, Coach from the SSA (Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan) that his IQ was assessed and was concluded to be 50.
Sukhwinder had joined SO Bharat in 2012 and thought of making Amanjot a part of this program, seeing his built and power. He made him participate in quite a few sports like , Athletics, Volleyball, football , Basketball, powerlifting and Cricket. He was amazed to see that he performed well across all. In fact at a National level Cricket tournament held in Chandigarh in 2015 he won the titles of ‘ Man of the Match’, ‘Match of the series’ and ‘Best Batsman’. However, since his stellar performance in the Powerlifting National Championship about two years back, his Coach and he, both focussed on Powerlifting.
His regular visits to the gym were wholeheartedly supported by his father and constantly supervised by Sukhwinder. He monitored his practise regime and also his diet. As Amanjot scheduled his practises his father did hear a few voices that tried stopping him from spending too much time on his son who was ‘not normal’. There was a time when even Amanjot’s mother began to feel the same way. She worried that too much time was being spent on Amanjot especially when not much could be expected as a result. But the trust of the family in the Coach gave them the strength to move on with this project. Irrespective of the weather and despite a long distance from their house, Amanjot’s visits to the Gym were strictly regimented. The Gym owner, himself being a power lifter understood the vicissitudes of sports and enthusiastically supported Amanjot.
Returning with four medals from a global competition has changed perspectives. Amanjot missed out on the Punjab Board exams while he was away for the World Games, but he was given a chance to appear for the same on his return from the games.
“ I could never imagine that one day people would recognise us through our son’s achievements. If we enjoy a higher position in the society today, it is because of Amanjot. He has silenced all apprehensions heard earlier”– said his overwhelmed mother while the Gym owner today, talks proudly about having catered to an Olympian!