American Turban

Sikh amputee finds new life in marathon running

Maj. Devender Pal Singh, an amputee marathon runner from India, tries out a new prosthetic leg outside the Hanger Clinic, 4301 N Classen in Oklahoma City. (Photo Credit: Paul Hellstern | Oklahoman)

Maj. Devender Pal Singh, an amputee marathon runner from India, tries out a new prosthetic leg outside the Hanger Clinic, 4301 N Classen in Oklahoma City. (Photo Credit: Paul Hellstern | Oklahoman)

The Oklahoman shares the story of one Devender Pal Singh, a 39-year-old Sikh marathoner from India known as “the Indian Blade Runner” because he runs long distances on a prosthetic leg. Devender Pal Singh visited Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, to receive a new prosthetic to help him better run long distances. He lost his leg in 1999 after sustaining injuries in the Kargil War:

Devender Pal Singh said he sustained severe injuries in 1999 when his Indian Army unit guarded the border between India and Pakistan during what became known as the Kargil War in 1999.

He said he was 25 at the time and had learned that anyone within eight yards of a mortar bomb typically died. That’s why he dove to the ground to try and minimize his injuries when one of the bombs landed about a yard and a half from him one summer day.

Carried to the field hospital by his men, Singh eventually awoke to find that his life had been spared — but it would never be the same.

In a story reminiscent to that of Fauja Singh, the world’s oldest marathoner, Devender Pal Singh found a new life in taking on the challenges of long distance running after he sustained his injuries.

[Devender Pal] Singh said he was not a runner before his leg was amputated but challenged himself to become one as a way to inspire him beyond his war injuries.

Welcomed by the Sikh community in Oklahoma City, Devender Pal Singh is now working to motivate other amputees in India.

Read more about him in The Oklahoman. You can also watch a TED Talk delivered by Devender Pal Singh below.

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