Avani Lekhara

First Indian Woman to win a Gold Medal at the Paralympics


A paralympian and rifle shooter who was left with complete paraplegia during an unfortunate car accident in 2012, Avani Lekhara scripted history by winning a gold medal in 10m air rifle standing and a bronze medal in 50m rifle three positions at Tokyo 2020 Paralympics. 

Post the accident, the 11 year old decided not to give up and went on to become the paralympic champion. She started her training in 2015 and the same year she participated in Rajasthan State Championship where she won gold. It was just the start of Avani’s success in the sport. The 19-year old has won 5 back-to-back gold medals in the National Shooting Championship from 2016 to 2020.

Lekhara is currently the World number two in women's 10m air rifle standing SH1 (world shooting para sport rankings) and has also competed in the Asian Para Games in 2018 has been supported by GoSports Foundation through the Para Champions Programme. 

She has been given an out of turn appointment as assistant conservator of forest by the Government of Rajasthan and is also the first Indian woman to win multiple medals in a single paralympic game. 

Awards and Accomplishments

Awards and Accomplishments

At the Paralympics in Japan, she won two medals- a gold and a bronze, becoming the first Indian woman to do so. Her final score was a world record equalling total of 249.6, also a new Paralympic Games record.

She was conferred with the ‘Khel Ratna Award’ in 2021 and the ‘Padma Shri’ in 2022. In 2021, she was awarded the ‘Young Indian of the Year award’ by GQ India and ‘Vogue Women of the Year’ by GQ India. 

She was awarded the ‘FICCI FLO Award for Excellence in Sports’ in 2022. 

Why Avani Lekhara ?

From a car accident that rendered her immobile at a young age of 11 to becoming India’s first woman to win a Paralympic gold at 19, Avani truly lives by her motto – ‘Life consists not in holding good cards, but in playing those cards you hold well’. In her talks she often talks about determination, positivity, commitment and achieving her ambitions despite extreme challenges. 

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