Abhinav Bindra Birthday Special: Interesting Facts about India’s Olympic Trailblazer
An Olympic medal in the hands of an athlete is gold, be it of any colour. But gold at the Olympics is – as Yogeshwar Dutt put it – the “Earning of a lifetime.” India’s sole Olympics gold medallist (individual) Abhinav Bindra celebrates his 37th birthday. His gold came at the 2008 Beijing Olympic came exactly 28 years after India had last tasted a podium victory in the world’s biggest stage. That year gap between two gold medals is the same that separates Kapil Dev and MS Dhoni lifting the World Cup with the Indian cricket team. Yet, while Kapil and Dhoni’s achievements – and to a larger context the Indian cricket team’s glory – was met with ecstasy, Bindra’s trailblazing run and his tryst with history left everyone wonderstruck.
1980 was the last time India had clinched the top honours in the world’s biggest stage of them all before Bindra took the country on a glorious journey on his own. He changed India’s Olympic history forever with a near-perfect 10.8 shot in the final attempt in the Men’s 10m Air Rifle event. And as Abhinav Bindra turns 37, take a look at some interesting facts about the sharp-shooter.
Abhinav Bindra was born with a -2 power in both eyes and that soon turned into -4 power when he took up shooting as a carer. But gold is what he aimed for and gold is what he achieved. It isn't easy, India's first and only individual gold medalist at the Olympics, Bindra would say later. One has to make a lot of adjustments.
World & Olympic Champion
Abhinav Bindra is not only India's first-ever Olympic champion but also the nation's first-ever World Champion. Bindra is also the first and only Indian to hold both the World and Olympic titles at the same time. The sharp-shooter first captured the gold at the 2006 ISSF World Shooting Championships before clinching the top honours two-years later at the Beijing Olympics. His gold at the Olympics was India's first and only individual gold medal in the world's biggest multiple sports event and was the country's first gold medal in 28 years.
Tryst With Destiny
Bindra had just recovered from a nagging back in 2006 and was doing it all to make a swift return to the shooting fold when the spinal injury threatened to jeopardise his return and end his career once and for all. The spinal injury, which happened just two years before his eventual Olympics gold medal, made Bindra rethink about prolonging his shooting career.
The spinal injury caused due to ligament over-stretching in the lumbodorsal region, as reported by TOI. was caused But as destiny will have it, a 25-year-old Bindra went through a rigorous rehabilitation programme - which helped in reducing the strain and pressure on his spine - and also made some changes to his shooting posture that fetched India it's biggest honour in the greatest stage of them all.
Abhinav Bindra Biopic
India's greatest athlete and shooting legend will soon have a biopic made on him. The untitled biopic, directed by Kannan Iyer, will adapt Bindra's autobiography A Shot at History: My Obsessive Journey to Olympic Gold. The movie, which was announced in 2017, will the Kapoor duo Harshvardhan and Anil Kapoor in lead roles. Harshvardhan, who made his Bollywood debut with Mirzya, will play the role of Bindra, while real-life dad Anil will essay the role of Bindra's father.
He had been to the Olympics before but this feat was incomparable in front of those. And if you were to gauge on how big just the achievement was, you’ll do well to know that 11 since Bindra’s historic feat in Beijing, he still remains India’s first and only Olympic gold medallist at any individual event.