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These kids have something special

india Updated: Feb 17, 2009 23:57 IST

She places herself comfortably on the couch, unperturbed with the celebrations of her three gold medals at the recent Special Olympics in Idaho, USA. But the moment you stretch your hand to touch the medals hanging from her neck, Megha — one of the 16 Indians who won medals — displays a thumbs up.

Though this Himachal girl is differently abled — Megha can't hear or speak — her silence turned gold when she slid down the hills of Idaho and picked up three medals in Alpine Skiing (Super-G, Slalom and Gaint S).

As she shakes hands with utmost confidence and warmth, one can understand why the 14-year-old's coach Manoj Kumari reckons this sport has given Megha a new lease of life. “It was not easy for her. A lot of training and effort went into getting her to this level,” says Kumari.

“She was nervous as the conditions were tough there but she derived courage from within and gave her best shot.” Placed next to a special champion, you can't help but want to know much more about Megha, but sadly you can't.

Sitting beside her are two more medallists — Maharashtra's Pinky Sunil and Gujarat's Ruchika Shah. Both grabbed medals in Snow Shoeing (25mm) — Pinky picking up a gold and Ruchika a silver.

Ruchika is witty and loves to chat. Ask her how she feels after winning, she says pointing towards Pinky's gold: “Mujhe voh chahiye (I want that one).”

Her cheerfulness and optimism does not for once give you the impression that she suffers from autism. When asked what gift she expects from her parents once she returns home, the 20-year-old says: "I want to eat ice-cream."

Both Ruchika and Pinky are huge Shahrukh Khan fans. Kumari says before Ruchika went out to compete, she sang her favourite SRK number. "Mujhe Shahrukh bahut acha lagta hai (I really like Shahrukh)," says Ruchika excitedly.

Megha, Pinky and Ruchika are not just three champions who have made our country proud, they are three extremely special
girls who have fought the hardships of life like true bravehearts.