Abhinav Bindra, the first ever Indian to win an individual gold medal since 1900 (the year India participated in Olympic Games) has announced his retirement from professional shooting with his eyes still set on Rio Olympics in 2016.
The words of former sports minister Ajay Maken, that “There are lots of pictures of sporting legends framed in the sports ministry walls and down the years I am sure some pictures will go and newer ones will come. But if there is one picture which will stay 100 years from today, it will be of Abhinav Bindra” tells the story of this great sport star.
His nature of being calm, cool and composed makes him different from other sportsperson. In a cricket frenzy nation, his unique style binds people with him and shooting. On his visit to play 17th Asian games in Incheon, South Korea, his declaring retirement from professional shooting came as a shock for his fans. Born on 28 September 1983 to an affluent Punjabi family, Bindra developed the passion for the game at an early age. He became a shooter at the age of fifteen and was the youngest participant at the 1998 Commonwealth Games. A graduate from the University of Colorado in the United States, with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration, he came into limelight by winning a bronze medal in the 2001 Munich World Cup, with a new junior world record score of 597/600 and winning India's first individual Olympic gold medal in 2008.
Gold: Olympic Games, Beijing, 2008
Bindra’s family always believed in funding his dreams even though shooting is not a particularly rewarding sport in India. He is the only Indian sportsman whose gold winning gun has been chosen to be displayed at the Olympic Museum at Lausanne in Switzerland. The book titled, “A Shot at History My Obsessive Journey to Olympic Gold” by sports writer Rohit Brijnath has also been written on him.
Due to his excellence, Bindra has been bestowed with some of the most prestigious awards in India. In 2000, he received Arjuna Award, while in 2001 he was entitled to Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, highest award of India in sports
category . In 2009, he bagged one of the India's most prestigious civilian award – Padma Bhushan.
-Nishant Kumar Azad