Virat Kohli receives the Padma Shri award
Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli was presented with the Padma Shri award by President Pranab Mukherjee at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. An emotional Kohli posted the video of presentation ceremony with a message which said, "What an absolute honor and a memorable day to receive the Padma Shri award. These days last a lifetime. God's been kind. Jai Hind."
Who is honoured with the Padma awards?
Padma awards were first presented in 1954. They are awarded to felicitate excellence in the fields of arts, literature, sports, social work, medicine, science, civil service, and others. Padma Vibhushan is the highest Padma honor followed by Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri.
Which other sportspersons received Padma awards?
Besides Kohli seven other sportspersons were presented with the Padma Shri award, the fourth highest civilian award in India. This includes - Shekar Naik (blind cricket), Vikas Gowda (Discus Throw), Deepa Malik (Athletics), Mariyappan Thagavelu (Athletics), Dipa Karmakar (Gymnastics), P.R.Sreejesh (Hockey), and Sakshi Malik (Wrestling). No sportspersons were selected for Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan awards, the third and second highest civilian awards respectively.
Achievements of the Padma Shri awardees in sports
Shekar Naik - Former captain of Indian blind cricket team who led India to T-20 World Cup win (2012) and Blind Cricket World Cup victory (2014). Deepa Malik - First Indian woman to win a medal in Paralympics. She won us silver in the Women's shot-put event at 2016 Rio Paralympics. Mariyappan Thangavelu - Gold medal winner in Men's high jump at Rio Paralympics.
Other awardees - Olympic medallists and performers
Sakshi Malik - Won the Olympic bronze at Rio and became first Indian female wrestler to win an Olympic medal. P.R. Sreejesh - Goalie and the current captain of Indian hockey team. He led India to a historic silver medal at FIH Champions Trophy in 2016. Dipa Karmakar - Finished 4th in Women's vault finals at Rio Olympics. Vikas Gowda - Ace discus thrower.
25% of Padma awardees in sports are cricketers
A total 218 civilian awards (Padma awards along with Bharat Ratna) have been conferred upon for excellence in sports since 1954-2017. Of these, 54 were awarded to cricketers, which is 25% of the total.