Flame Bearers: Keeping the Fire Burning

Flame Bearers: Keeping the Fire Burning spotlights women Olympians and Paralympians who sought to compete in the Tokyo Summer or Beijing Winter Olympi…
Aug 24th, 2020 | 23:18

Manasi Joshi (India): Badminton & Disability Policy

Manasi Joshi is India's current Para-badminton World Champion and BBC India's Sportswoman of the year. One day on her way to work, a truck ran into Manasi; hours dragged on before she received treatment, and her leg eventually needed to be amputated. In this episode, Manasi talks about losing her leg, how badminton was a crucial part of her rehabilitation process and her passion for disability rights. Her sister, Nupur shares her take on her sister. Experts interviewed include Sharon Springer, Ariella Barker, and Candace Cable.
In this episode of Flame Bearers, the story of Paralympic athlete Manasi Joshi is told along with the impact herself and many other Paralympic athletes have had. For Manasi, it all began when she was in an accident and lost her leg. Before this, she had given up a fulfilling career as a software engineer to pursue sports, specifically badminton. While her world was changed after the accident, she did not let this stop her from becoming a world champion in badminton and competing in the Paralympics. Badminton became her rehab as she began life with a prosthetic leg, and her sister shares how Manasi faced every obstacle with courage and determination. She chose to have a positive attitude and did not let her disability stop her from living her life to the fullest. While Manasi has not let her disability stop her from becoming a world champion in badminton, she has faced several barriers along the way. Manasi shares about these barriers, specifically in struggles in accessibility along with social barriers. Sadly, many people have stereotyped people with disabilities, often causing them to not have as many opportunities, especially in the career world. Because of this, Manasi tells how she has worked to overcome these stereotypes and barriers and worked hard to advocate for people with disabilities. Next, Ariella Barker, attorney and communications specialist, speaks on her own efforts to advocate for people with disabilities. She shares how she has also experienced these stereotypes as someone who cannot walk and how we can work to change these barriers. One main way is simply through educating people on disabilities and the fact that they do not define a person. We as a society can change the culture by speaking out for those with disabilities, helping stand against the stereotypes, and advocating for disability rights. The last guest to speak is Candace Cable as she shares her story of how she became an athlete in the Paralympics. Candace, while confined to a wheel chair, did not let that stop her love of sports and decided to compete in the Paralympics. In fact, she actually helped pioneer the sport of wheelchair racing and has since won 12 medals. She concludes by sharing how her journey has helped advocate for and inspire those with disabilities. Links: Follow Manasi Joshi on Facebook and learn more about badminton at Badminton World Federation Follow Ariella Barker on Facebook and learn more about her at her website. Follow Candace Cable on Facebook and view her Team USA profile. Learn more about the Flame Bearers podcast.