Abhinav Bindra’s historic Olympic Gold medal nine years ago starts a revolution

first_imgExactly nine years ago, Abhinav Bindra created history by becoming the first Indian to win an individual Olympic Gold medal at the Bejing Games.After Independence in 1947, India had won five gold medals – all at Hockey. There were flashes of individual brilliance as India grew more aspritational.Leander Paes’ bronze at the 1996 Atlanta Games was a moment to cherish. Karnam Malleswari clinched another bronze four years later in Sydney.In 2004 at Athens, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore finally won silver in the men’s double trap event.The red-letter day, all of India had waited for years, came in China in 2008. Bindra took gold for India in the men’s 10m air rifle shooting competition. He stayed calm under pressure and shot a near perfect 10.8 to seal a memorable triumph.India won two more medals (Vijender Singh, boxing) and (Sushil Kumar, wrestling) in Bejing.But Bindra’s gold inspired a new legion of sports stars. India enjoyed their best Olympic campaign in London in 2012, winning as many as six medals. The 2016 Rio Olympics saw some disappointing results but PV Sindhu and Sakshi Malik saved the day for India, winning a silver and bronze respectively.It’s fair to say Bindra’s gold medal back in 2008 had paved the way for success in other sports. It marked the start of a revolution in Indian sports – it is no coincidence that 10 of the country’s 28 medals came since Bindra’s remarkable feat.It took 100 years to win the first 18 and eight years to win the next 10.India, today, is no more obsessed only with cricket. Badminton, hockey, boxing and wrestling garner plenty of attention. These sports may not be on the same footing as cricket yet but India’s march towards domination in other sports is well and truly underway.advertisementlast_img read more