Jalandhar's Bhavik Atwal wins 2 golds at national swimming championship!
September 3, 2018
Bhavik Atwal is putting Jalandhar on the map of para sports! This 12-year-old boy with autism has won two gold medals at a national-level swimming championship in Pune on 25 and 26 August.
This was a national-level event for children with autism and Down syndrome.
Bhavik won the medals in two categories - 50m freestyle and 25 m freestyle.
For his father Vikram Atwal, who runs a small dhaba, this was a great moment of triumph and celebration. Given his limited means, he has been making all efforts to make sure his son can take part in various championships.
This win will increase Bhavik's chances of coming in for special coaching that will pave the way for his participation in the World Olympics next year. He has been working hard towards that.
Bhavik has had a star record so far with a silver medal in the 20th Punjab State Special Olympics and in the national-level Special Olympic Bharat Maharashtra National Championship 2016.
He is the only disabled child from Jalandhar to make it for national swimming and one of six from Punjab to be chosen for the national-level championship.
Bhavik's father hopes the win also help raise money for his treatment. Speaking to a newspaper, he said:
With funds, my son can get better with time and get a chance to play in international events like the World Olympics. He is working hard to qualify. I don't want financial issues to come in his way. - Vikram Atwal, Bhavik's father
Bhavik also loves painting, solving puzzles, and singing. Given his condition, he does not know much of what is happening around him but he is focused on doing well in every event.
He is currently living in Ahmedabad with his mother as treatment options are good here. He studies and swims alongside as well.
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