Lucknow's Archana Pandey finds a spot in the Indian National Team for Summer Deaf Olympics 2022

Archana Pandey is the only player from UP who has been selected for the 24th Summer Deaf Olympics in Brazil!
Lucknow's Archana Pandey finds a spot in the Indian National Team for Summer Deaf Olympics 2022

A girl with impaired hearing goes from playing table tennis with cardboard pieces to finding her own spot in the Indian National Team for Summer Deaf Olympics 2022. No, this is not the plot of a romanticised Bollywood drama, but the story of Lucknow's Archana Pandey, that centres around a disability, destiny, dreams and dedication! Read on to know more about this sports icon and her journey to become the only player from Uttar Pradesh at the global tournament.

Crossing the hurdles of life, one victory at a time!

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Bringing honour to Lucknow, local girl Archana Pandey is all set to represent Team India in the table-tennis programme at the 24th Summer Deaf Olympics in Brazil this year. However, the feat was not easy to claim and here's how it started:

Archana, daughter of security guard Chandraprakash Pandey from Alambagh, Lucknow, is the youngest of three siblings. She could not hear since childhood and her father, caught in dire straits could not afford expensive treatment. With an incomplete therapy, life placed its first hurdle for Archana way too early, but it could not break her resilience.

The young girl converted her weakness into strength and started playing table tennis in school with the help of cardboard pieces. Gradually, she got listed as a regional player at the state level and become the only person in the state who has represented the state in Olympics 2017 in table tennis.

However, life was not done dealing its cards wrong with Pandey. Her marriage came to an end in about 5 months, for her husband did not wish to live with a deaf partner. But Pandey found the right motivation and encouragement from her coach Parag Agarwala and mother Neelam Pandey, and she got back to the court. With the passage of time, Archana engaged herself in learning the nuances of the game and is now in line for another stellar performance, at the international level!

Catch Archana Pandey in action at Deaf Summer Olympics

The trials for the 24th Summer Deaf Olympics were held at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Delhi on 24-25 February. Here Archana secured a place in the Indian team after defeating India's number one player Surabhi Ghosh in a nail-biting 3-2 faceoff There were also six other matches in this trial, in which Archana emerged as the overall victor.

Deaf Summer Olympics will be held from May 1 to 15, 2022 in Brazil, when the world can watch this prodigy live and in action!

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