The Indian contingent made history by winning a record number of medals at the World Dwarf Games held in Toronto. The seventh edition of the World Dwarf Games witnessed this 21-man team winning 37 medals, including 15 gold medals.
Held at the University of Guelph in Ontario province, the Games were held over a period of one week and saw participation from around 400 athletes from 24 countries. Indian’s Consul General to Toronto, Dinesh Bhatia, felicitated the Indian team on August 15 during the Independence Day celebrations.
While speaking with the Hindustan Times, Joby Matthew, who won two gold medals, three silvers, and one bronze, said,
I had a wonderful experience. I participated in badminton doubles, badminton singles, shot put, javelin, discus throw, and powerlifting. We are very proud to be Indian athletes.
For this event, also known as the Olympics of the little people, most players had to take loans to travel to Canada. However, this did not deter them from giving their best for the country. According to the Hindustan Times, the team’s manager and coach Shivananda Gunjal said,
We want to give a gift to the country on Independence Day. Coming here, we have been given so much respect, we are very proud of that. We are happy to give 15 gold medals to the country on August 15.
A social non-profit organisation, Sringeri Vidya Bharati Foundation (Canada), organised the team’s visit to the consulate. According to the Financial Express, Brinda Muralidhar, a representative of the foundation, said,
Having learnt of their wonderful accomplishments at the Games and how proud they were for bringing honour to India, I so wanted them to be part of the Independence Day celebrations here in Toronto.