May 25, 2017
After being diagnosed with autism at 2, Ranveer Singh Saini’s early life was filled with interventions, therapies, special education, occupational therapy, speech stimulation, a special diet and calming medicines. It seemed like everything was a challenge. But giving up wasn’t an option.
At 9, he discovered a passion for golf, and at 12, Ranveer competed in the 2013 Special Olympics Golf Masters where he became a champion. Ranveer’s talents lie beyond the golf course—he’s also an accomplished pianist, an outstanding cook and a math genius.
Bakhtawar Saini, Ranveer’s mother, told the Financial Times that golfing has helped to ease some of the more debilitating autism symptoms. “Golf requires focus and patience, which were skills that he, as an autistic child, lacked. The sport changed this and also gave him greater confidence. As a result, he is a lot more comfortable around people now.”
Special Olympics is a cause close to the hearts of the Herbalife Nutrition global community, especially in India. That’s why we put our full support behind athletes like Ranveer and the 89 Indian athletes who returned home with 73 medals from the recent Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria. These athletes have chosen to keep the ‘dis’ apart from their abilities.
At a congratulatory ceremony upon their return home, Herbalife Nutrition India—along with its sponsored athletes MC Mary Kom, a World Amateur Boxing Champion and Olympic boxer, star badminton player Saina Nehwal, and champion pistol shooter Heena Sidhu—celebrated the Special Olympics Bharat Team and the honor they brought to the nation.
The team brought home 37 Gold, 10 Silver and 26 Bronze medals, and the joy was evident on the faces of the athletes.
Recalling her own struggles and hardships, Kom expressed her admiration for the athletes. “I know what efforts and struggles it takes,” she said. “You have overcome obstacles and have emerged victorious.”
Some of Ranveer’s notable awards and achievements include:
- The first Indian (along with his partner Monica Jajoo) to win Gold at the Special Olympics Summer World Games 2015 in Los Angeles.
- The first Indian to participate in Special Olympics’ Asia Pacific Golf Masters, Macau 2013. He won Level 1 and Level 2 golf competitions.
- The first Indian to have consecutively been a Limca Book of Records Record Holder for his victories at the Asia Pacific Golf Masters tournament for three consecutive years (2014, 2015 and 2016).
- Received the Bheem award by the Indian Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.