Athletes are often thought of as warriors — seemingly invincible as they excel in their respective sporting fields. However, throughout history, many famous athletes have lived with ailments before, during, or after they made a name for themselves.
Retired athlete Anju Bobby George took to Twitter today to reveal that she represented India at various world championships with just one kidney. Anju, who put India on the map in athletics in the late 20th and 21st century, said she was fortunate to be among the few who reached the top of the world with a single kidney, “allergic with even a painkiller, with a dead take-off leg”.
Her tweet was retweeted by Minster of State for Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Kiran Rijiju. In his tweet, he said, “Anju, it’s your hard work, grit and determination to bring laurels for India supported by the dedicated coaches and the whole technical backup team. We are so proud of you being the only Indian so far to win a medal in the World Athletic Championship!”
The Olympian's tweet saw her fans in praise of the athlete and her grit. India’s only medallist in the World Athletics Championships, Anju’s gold medal in the Asian Games in Busan in 2002 was an indication of her future leaps in the world of sports. Training with her husband and coach Robert Bobby George, she won bronze for long jump at the World Athletics Championship in Paris in 2003 and finished fifth in the long jump at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.
The Padma Shri and Arjuna awardee is India’s only medallist in the World Athletics Championship. The sportsperson who has served in the Kerala States Council, the Target Olympic Scheme and the Khelo India Initiative post-retirement, was recently elected unopposed as the Athletics Federation of India’s first woman senior-vice president.
Born in Changanassery, Anju was initiated into athletics by her father KT Markose.