Three years after being told his career was over, ace Indian shooter Prakash Nanjappa will be vying for a gold medal at the Rio Olympics, starting August 5.
Nanjappa’s world was turned upside down in 2013 when he suffered a “stroke or paralytic attack” at a World Cup event in Granada, Spain, reports Xinhua.
Doctors subsequently diagnosed him with Bell’s palsy, a type of paralysis that affected muscles on the right side of his face.
“The scariest part was when the doctor said I would have to stop shooting,” Nanjappa told the Olympic News Service.
“That motivated me to come back. When it happened I looked at myself in the mirror and something was wrong with my face, it was frightening. It looked like my shooting career would be over.”
It took just six weeks for Nanjappa to recover and, after a string of consistent performances in the past two years, the 40-year-old will be one of the favourites in the 10m air pistol and 50m pistol events at the Rio games.
Nanjappa only seriously took up shooting in 2009, having quit the sport several years earlier after relocating to Canada.
“I am now 40 years old, but it is just a number — it isn’t going to make any difference in the way I shoot,” he added.