After becoming the first Indian athlete to win gold in the heptathlon at the Asian Games, 21-year-old Swapna Barman appealed for appropriate footwear. She achieved this historical feat despite being born with six toes on each foot.
I use normal shoes worn by people who have normal five toes. It really pains during training. It is very uncomfortable, whether I wear spikes or normal shoes," Indian athlete #SwapnaBarman said. https://t.co/okodoPyXyf
She’s not only at a physical disadvantage, but India doesn’t have hi-tech training facilities and its public healthcare system is in shambles, making it even harder for a girl like Barman to rise to such athletic prominence. The heptathlon is a grueling seven-event conquest and it takes a tremendous toll on one's body to perfect a multitude of apparatuses. It was reported on Wednesday that Barman would be undergoing knee and back surgery in Mumbai in a few weeks. The challenge is formidable enough without having to worry about unfit equipment.
Swapna Barman was born with six toes. She's had injuries to her knee, ankle, and back. Before the Games, she had an excruciating toothache. Despite all that she became the first Indian to win the heptathlon @jon_selvaraj writes: https://t.co/jrUGLzlssy #AsianGames2018
Not to be outdone by Nike’s commitment to social causes with the Colin Kaepernick, "Just Do It" campaign, Adidas has answered Barman's plea. The Sports Authority of India (SAI) has confirmed that Adidas will provide custom-made shoes for the Barman to continue chasing her dreams.
The 21-year-old Swapna Barman spoke after winning the regional Olympics title on Thursday of how her rare deformity caused agony with each step in her final event, the 800m. https://t.co/0FCIEw5f02
The shoe giant didn’t waste any time stepping in and aiding a world class international athlete in need. Barman's a rising star and Adidas is the first to ride her wave.
After coming to know about @Swapna_Barman96's case, @Ra_THORe immediately directed us to get customised shoes made for her. We have taken up the matter with #Adidas and they have agreed to provide it," said @Media_SAI Director General @NeelamKapur https://t.co/AgzaTri5OR
Barman will probably end up with some kind of shoe deal, promoted through a campaign of perseverance, athletic excellence and how people can overcome disabilities and physical differences through hard work and determination and a love for the sport. Adidas recently signed half-Haitian, half-Japanese star Naomi Osaka to a huge contract after the 20-year-old defeated icon Serena Williams in the U.S. Open Finals.
Osaka set to sign $8.5m annual deal with Adidas https://t.co/cH1yPgjgBu
Barman's future is bright and her gear is tight. With an evened playing ground Barman should soar to the full limits of her potential.