BENGALURU: Normally, former World No 1 Prakash Padukone would bring pastries to his academy and distribute it among the players on his birthday. But, on his 65th birthday, the 1980 All England badminton champion did not visit the Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy, according to sources.
However, the prevailing COVID-19 situation in Bengaluru did not stop his close friends, including coach Vimal Kumar, from wishing him on his special day. Vimal is expecting to meet Prakash soon, maybe on Thursday, if he comes to the academy.
Prakash is presently in the city with wife Ujjala and daughter Anisha at his residence near Cunnigham Road.
Despite living almost 1000kms away from Bengaluru, leading Bollywood star Deepika Padukone did not miss the chance to make her dad feel special on Wednesday.
She posted a childhood photo of her alongside Prakash with a caption, "To the greatest off-screen hero I could have ever had! Thank you for showing us that being a true champion is not only about one's professional achievements, but also about being a good human being! Happy 65th Birthday, Papa."
Not only his family members and friends, well-wishers also came up with messages on social media. Prakash's name began trending on Twitter too.
He is one of - if not the best - from India to have played the sport. His achievements include a historic World Championships medal in 1983, gold in the 1978 Commonwealth Games and other honours.
After retirement in 1991, Prakash turned to producing future champions from India.
He is a co-founder of the Olympic Gold Quest, which aims to help athletes win medals on the biggest stage.