Malathi Krishnamurthy Holla was born on July 6, 1958 in Bangalore. Her father ran a small hotel, while her mother took care of their four children. A raging fever when she was one year old paralyzed Malathi’s entire body. Electric shock treatment for more than two years saw little Mala regaining strength in her upper body, but below the waist her body remained completely weak.
Notwithstanding the trials and turbulences that plagued her, Malathi decided to live life Queen Size, undaunted by the fury of fate. She chose sports as the best alternative medicine to forget her pain, and went on to become one of the most inspiring sports personalities of modern India.
With over 300 medals in her kitty, Malathi was conferred the prestigious Arjuna and Padma Shri Awards. She represented India in the Paralympics held in South Korea, Barcelona, Athens and Beijing; the Asian Games held in Beijing, Bangkok,
South Korea and Kuala Lumpur; World Masters held in Denmark and Australia, Commonwealth Games in Australia and Open Championships in Belgium, Kuala Lumpur and England.
Her never-say-die attitude has been an eye-opener to many contemporary sports stars, who often refer to her as the Champion of Champions.
For the record, Malathi has so far undergone 32 surgeries.
Malathi works as a Manager with Syndicate Bank and shelters 16 children with various disabilities at Mathru Foundation — a charitable trust formed along with her friends. She focuses mainly on polio victims from rural areas, whose parents cannot afford to send their child to school or provide medical treatment.