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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Saturday, 18 May 2024 7.31 PM IST

Meet Pathanamthitta native Rajesh John, who trounced world-champion Harold Kelley

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PATHANAMTHITTA: Rajesh John’s left leg is incapable of any response, but his determination is over the roof. The 30-year-old Enathu native crossed the Atlantic to reach the US and stunningly won the Arnold Classic Pro Wheelchair Bodybuilding Championship. Rajesh is the first Indian to do so, as he gave six-time champion Harold Kelley an upset which nobody thought was coming.

At the age of three, Rajesh caught a fever which soon took effects on his leg. With every passing day, the left leg seemed to become weak and ended up cold and unresponsive. It was unusual for a young kid of that age to start life in a wheelchair, but it did little to sabotage the youngster’s confidence. After schooling, Rajesh took a diploma in electronics. It was through a rigorous workout that Rajesh helped his body turn like Greeks of halcyon days.

It was after meeting Kerala Body Building Secretary Arun Pattai that Rajesh thought about entering the world of competitions. At the tender age of 17, Rajesh was crowned Mr Pathanamthitta. Kochi police CPO, who was the former Mr. Kerala and national champion was the guest during the event. Over time, Arun Raj turned into Rajesh’s coach.

Rajesh won the Mr. Kerala pageant for the differently abled from 2009 to 2012; Mr. India four times and Mr. World twice. He also won the Amateur Olympia title in 2023. As of now, Rajesh has set his eye on the biggest stage and is training to participate in Mr. Olympia, the world's biggest bodybuilding competition.

'Disabled people are more likely to lose confidence in life. I want to be their guide and prove it different." Rajesh said.

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TAGS: HAROLD KELLEY, WHEELCHAIR, CHAMPIONSHIP, RAJESH JOHN, BODYBUILDING, PARTICIPATE
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