India first participated at the Olympic Games in 1900, with a lone athlete (Norman Pritchard) winning two medals- both silver- in athletics.
The nation first sent a team to the Summer Olympic Games in 1920, and has participated in every Summer Games since then. Indian athletes have won 28 medals, all at the Summer Games. For a period of time, India national field hockey team was dominant in Olympic competition, winning eleven medals in twelve Olympics between 1920 and 1980. The run included 8 gold medals total and six successive gold medals from 1928–1956. Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju recently spoke on focusing sports specific to states which can increase the number of medals which have been estimated to be won in the 2028 Olympics to be held in Los Angeles. Keeping this in mind, here is a state-wise breakdown of Olympic medals won by the country.
With athletes Vijendar Singh, Yogeshwar Dutt and Sakshi Malik winning medals in boxing and freestyle wrestling respectively, Haryana is undoubtedly the only state to produce the most number of Olympic medalists in the country. Sushil Kumar, India’s bronze and silver medalist in the freestyle wrestling Olympic event is also a Haryana native. Saina Nehwal, India’s pride in badminton was born in Haryana but moved to Hyderabad at a young age due to her father’s promotion and transfer where she took up badminton and won a bronze medal in the 2012 London Olympics.
Norman Pritchard was the first Indian to represent the country at the Olympics. Norman was part of the 1900s Paris Summer Olympics where he represented India before its independence and managed to win 2 silver medals in the Men’s 200m and the Men’s 200m hurdles. It is also home to Leander Paes, who won a bronze medal in men’s singles tennis at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
MC Mary Kom hails from Manipur and is a celebrity when it comes to Indian boxing. She qualified for the 2012 London Olympics and won a bronze medal in the Women’s flyweight division.
Gagan Narang, a Chennai native represented India in Shooting and won a bronze in the 2012 London Olympics in the Men’s 10m Air Rifle event.
Vijay Kumar bagged a silver medal in the Men’s 25 Rapid Fire Pistol in the 2012 London Olympics.
Abhinav Bindra, India’s gold medalist in shooting was born in Dehradun. He struck gold in the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the event of Men’s 10m Air Rifle.
Rajasthan is home to Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore who scored silver in the Men’s Double Trap shooting event at the 2004 Olympics held in Athens.
Karnam Malleswari won a bronze medal in the women’s 69kg weightlifting category at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
PV Sindhu is a Hyderabad native in the currently known state of Telangana. She won a silver medal in the 2016 Olympics held in Rio in the sport of badminton.
Maharashtra is home to Khashaba Dadasaheb Jadhav, the freestyle wrestler who won a Bronze medal in the 1952 Olympics at Helsinki in the Bantamweight category.
Though they might all be from different states, they represent India on the Olympic stage and go through a lot of obstacles to win laurels for the country.
Here is a list of the other states that haven’t yet made strides in Olympics but show great promise in the future.
- Arunachal Pradesh
- Madhya Pradesh
- Uttar Pradesh
Though the Olympic winners might all be from different states, they represent India on the Olympic stage and go through a lot of obstacles to win laurels for the country.