India’s Olympic history has not been very bright or much heard of. However, with Bindra bagging first-ever individual gold in Bejing has sparked lot of celebrations and hopes. India had only won four individual medals, none of them gold, since sending their first team to the Summer Games in 1928.
“For me life will go on. All my life I have just been punching holes in a blank piece of paper target.
Day after Bindra ponders, “They have all been telling me what a huge achievement winning Gold is. I realize that but frankly the enormity of the goodwill generated has caught me by surprise. Honestly enough it really has not changed me, I am still the same Abhinav who just a day ago was hanging around alone in my room in the Olympic village. Frankly, all the attention is a bit overwhelming. I am not much good at making loud public pronouncements. That in no way means that this is not the most intense experience of my life…
…For more than a decade now my life has been all about my sport. In fact, I do not have a life beyond the confines of the 10m range. I have had a range built in my own home to cut down any possibility of distraction and to be able to practice my sport whenever the fancy strikes me. It all did pay off, didn’t it? It has all still not sunk in. I will post more once the feeling settles…
…I ran away from all the media and official attention yesterday after I had done the bit I had do in keeping with my new-found status. Instead I chose to go to a quiet dinner with some friends.
India first participated in Olympics in 1900. It has to its credit 18 medals of which 8 are in hockey and the last was won in 1980.Olympics never seemed to be a priority in India. The previous best was trap shooter Rajyavardhan Rathore’s silver at Athens four years ago, while there were bronze medals for wrestler Khasaba Jadhav (1952), tennis star Leander Paes (1996) and woman weightlifter Karnam Malleswari (2000).
I ask the Indian people to support our athletes more. It is fine to celebrate our achievements but it is just as important to keep up the backing when we are not on top of our game.
It is important for India to do better at Olympic sport as these are the true measure of a nation’s sporting depth. I wish more private initiatives come up with corporate support apart from the backing of the government. The joy that the nation feels at my win is humbling. I just wish that this is repeated more and more often…
…With our depth of talent and expanse of people I firmly believe India can be a world-class sporting power. What we need are precise systems.
His mother jokes, “Now I have lots of work ahead as he is the country’s most eligible bachelor.” He hit a near perfect 10.8 in a brilliant final shot to pull ahead of Henri Hakkinen of Finland, who stumbled in his last shot allowing China’s Zhu Qinan, the favourite, to take the silver.
Well, he is definitely the hero today even though he seems to be the ‘boy next door’!