On a day when India was busy living its capitalist dream(and a few other ones as well), Abhinav Bindra went out there and shot India to glory in Beijing, becoming the first Indian to win an Olympic individual gold medal.
The gold medal was heroic, inspirational and romantic at the same time. It had been a while since an Indian had made a huge mark on the sporting world(except in Cricket), and Bindra’s triumph was a reminder that India could maybe start a small sporting revolution. The sporting tide was strong then, but it somehow lost its way, leaving India with a mere 2 medals at the 2016 games.
India’s golden man has attributed his Beijing success to the 2000 Sydney games, where as a 17 year-old he was given the chance to get the Olympic flavour, something that helped him a lot in 2008.
“I went to five Olympic Games and my favourite is Sydney. Why I enjoyed the Sydney so much, (it is) because of the people of Australia. For me Sydney Olympics is special, I finished 10th or 11th at those games. My performance at Sydney game me the belief that one day perhaps I can go and win the gold medal (at the Olympics),” said Bindra during the Tourism Australia and Tourism and Events Queensland media conference(held to launch the Commonwealth Games 2018).
Bindra went onto speak about the importance of the Commonwealth Games.
“The Commonwealth Games is an important benchmark in the whole career path of an athlete. The three multi-sporting disciplines where we participate in – Commonwealth, Asian and Olympic Games. Each one is a stepping stone to building up to the Olympic Games and each one is important. The level, competitions differ event to event, but they all are important.”
“I won nine medals at the Commonwealth Games but I ended up winning my first individual gold at the last games (2014 Glasgow),” Bindra said.
“It takes about eight years to develop as an Olympic athlete, very few athletes actually who go there win medal in their first Games.”
“10,000 athletes go and compete at an Olympic Games, only 300 go back with a gold medal, the number is very, very less. It takes time for an athlete to develop, you have to give the athletes a chance and time to develop and go there.
“The experience which they gain from their first Games, they may not (win) a medal, but it is going to add to their experience which will help them to go and win in perhaps next Games,” Bindra concluded.