India has been a regular participant at the Olympics since the 1920 Antwerp Games. Though many believe that the country did have representation at the 1900 Paris Games in form of Norman Pritchard, it remains debatable till date.
India sent its first proper contingent to the Olympics during the 1920 Games at Antwerp, Belgium due to the efforts of noted industrialist Sir Dorabji Tata. Since then the country has competed in 22 different sports at the Olympics winning quite a few medals. Here, we look at all the sports which India has played at the Olympics:
Archery has been a part of the Olympics since the 1900 Games in Paris. India competed in the sport for the first time during the 1988 Seoul Olympics. The Indian archery contingent was then led by Limba Ram with Shyam Lal and Sanjeeva Singh to accompany him.
India has since participated in the sport at every edition of the Olympics except the 2000 Sydney Games. Though the country is yet to win a medal in archery, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics promises to be different with Atanu Das and Deepika Kumari pairing up for the mixed team event.
Athletics is one of the only five sports to have been played at each and every edition of the Olympics. India has had representation in some or the other form of athletics in every edition of Olympics the country has participated in. But, the country's only Olympic medals in athletics – two silvers, came through Norman Pritchard at the 1900 Paris Games.
Badminton was introduced as an official sport at the Olympics during the 1992 Barcelona Games. India has competed in badminton in every Olympic edition since the sport was introduced at the quadrennial event. The first-ever Indian badminton contingent consisted of Deepankar Bhattacharya, Madumita Bisht and U. Vimal Kumar.
India has won two medals in badminton at the Olympics – a bronze by Saina Nehwal at the 2012 London Games, followed by a silver by PV Sindhu at the next edition in Rio de Janeiro.
Basketball has been played at the Olympics ever since it was included as an official medal sport during the 1936 Berlin Games. But, it was introduced in Olympics for women only during the 1976 Montreal Games.
India's only participation in basketball at the Olympics came during the 1980 Moscow Games. India qualified for the sport in the Olympics followed by the boycott of the Games by quite a few nations due to Russia's invasion of Afghanistan. Though the team led by Paramjit Singh failed to win a single match at the tournament, they certainly managed to grab the attention of the world with some very good individual performances.
Cycling has been a part of the Olympics ever since the first edition of the modern Olympics in 1896 Games in Athens. India sent its first cycling contingent to the Olympics during the 1948 London Games and has since participated in two more editions – 1952 Helsinki Games and 1964 Tokyo Games.
Diving was introduced as an official Olympic sport during the 1904 St. Louis Games and has been a part of every edition of the Olympics. India has participated in diving at the Olympics once.
During the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, two Indian divers – Sohan Singh and Ansuiya Prasad represented the country in Men's Platform and Men's Springboard respectively. This remains India's only appearance in Diving at the Olympics.
Boxing has been a part of the Olympics ever since it was introduced as an official sport during the 1904 Games. The only exception to this is the 1912 Stockholm Games as boxing was not held due to a ban on the sport by the Swedish Government.
India competed in the sport for the first time during the 1972 Munich Games. Chander Narayanan was the only Indian boxer in contention and he lost in the second round after getting a bye in the first. India has since won two Olympic medals in boxing – a bronze each by Vijender Singh and Mary Kom at the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Games respectively.
Equestrian has been a part of the Olympics since the 1900 Paris Games, with the only exception being the 1904 St. Louis Games. India participated in equestrian at the Olympics for the first time during the 1996 Atlanta Games.
While Wing Commander IJ Lamba competed at Atlanta, Imtiaz Anees became the second man to represent the country in the sport during the 2000 Atlanta Games. Fouaad Mirza will become only the third jockey to represent India in equestrian at Olympics when he takes the field at 2020 Tokyo Games.
Football has been played at the Olympics ever since the 1900 Paris Games, with the only exception being the 1932 Los Angeles Games. It was introduced for women only during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
India sent its first football team to the Olympics during the 1948 London Games. The country further participated in the sport during the 1952, 1956 and 1960 Games as well. India's best performance in football at the Olympics came during the 1956 Melbourne Games where they finished as semi-finalists.
Golf was played at the Olympics during the 1900 and 1904 Games, before being scrapped altogether for more than a century. The sport made a return to the Olympics during the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games where three Indians – Anirban Lahiri, Shiv Chawrasia and Aditi Ashok, competed.
Gymnastics is one of the only five sports to have been played at each and every edition of the Olympics. But, it was not until the 1952 Helsinki Games that India had representation in the sport at the Olympics. Indian men competed in the sport at the Olympics in 1952, 1956 Melbourne Games and 1964 Tokyo Olympics.
Thereafter, after almost 52 years Dipa Karmakar with her qualification to the 2016 Rio Olympics became the first-ever Indian woman gymnast at the Olympics and finished fourth at her event.
Hockey was first introduced at the Olympics during the 1908 London Games. It has since been played at every edition of the Games, with an exception at the 1912 Stockholm Olympics.
India has been the most successful hockey team at the Olympics. They sent their first ever hockey contingent to the Olympics during the 1928 Amsterdam Games. The country has since won a total of 11 medals in the sport at the Olympics – 8 gold, one silver and 2 bronze.
Judo was included as an official medal sport at the Olympics during the 1964 Tokyo Games. It has since been held in every edition except the 1968 Mexico Olympics.
Though India has not won any medal in judo at the Olympics, the country has been a constant feature in the sport at the Games since the 1992 Barcelona Games. India's first ever judo contingent for Olympics included five judokas – Sandeep Byala, Cawas Billimoria, Narender Singh, Rajinder Singh and Sangita Mehta.
Rowing has been a part of the Olympics for every edition since the 1900 Paris Games. It was even supposed to be held during the 1896 Games in Athens but had to be cancelled due to bad weather.
India competed in rowing at the Olympics for the first time during the 2000 Sydney Games. Inderpal Singh and Kasam Khan were the first Indian rowers to compete at the Olympics when they took the field in Men's Coxless Pair at Sydney. The country has since participated in rowing at every edition, albeit without any medal.
Sailing has been a part of the Olympics since the 1896 Athens Games, with the only exception being the 1904 St. Louis Games. But, it was not until the 1972 Munich Olympics that India had representation in the sport at Olympics.
Soli Contractor and AA Basith were the first Indian sailors at the Olympics. Quite a few Indian sailors have competed at the Olympics since then, but none of them have been able to translate into a medal. The 2020 Tokyo Games will be the first time that India has representations in multiple events of sailing at the Olympics.
Shooting has been a part of the Olympics since the 1896 Athens Games, with the only exception being the 1904 St. Louis and 1928 Amsterdam Games. Shooting has been one of the most successful sports for India at the Olympics.
The country sent its first shooting contingent of two players – Harihar Banerjee and Souren Choudhary to the Olympics during the 1952 Helsinki Games. India has been a constant feature in the sport since then and has won a total of 4 medals – one gold, two silver and one bronze at the Olympics.
Swimming has been a part of the Olympics ever since the first ever Olympics at Athens in 1896. India competed in swimming at the Olympics for the first time during the 1948 London Games.
A total of seven swimmers – Sachin Nag, Isaac Mansoor, Dilip Mitra, Bimal Chandra, Khamlillal Shah, Prahtip Mitra, Prafulla Mullick, represented India at the 1948 Olympics. Though quite a few swimmers have represented India at the Olympics since then, none of them have been able to earn a podium finish. The fifth place finish by Samsher Khan in 200m butterfly during the 1956 Olympics remains the country's best ever swimming performance at the Olympics.
Table Tennis was introduced as a medal event at the Olympics for the first time during the 1988 Seoul Games. Ever since the sport was introduced at the Olympics, India too has competed in it.
India's first ever table tennis contingent at the Olympics during 1988 consisted of Sujay Ghorpade, Kamlesh Mehta and Niyati Roy. The country has since participated in table tennis at every edition of Olympics but has not won a single medal.
Tennis has been played sparingly at Olympics. The sport was played continuously from 1896 Athens to 1924 Paris Games before being discontinued. Tennis made a brief return during the 1968 Mexico only to be scrapped again before making a comeback at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.
India competed in tennis at the Olympics for the first time during the 1988 Seoul Games when Zeeshan Ali and Vijay Amritraj took the field. The country has since competed in tennis at all the editions of the Olympics with a solitary bronze medal from Leander Paes at the Atlanta Games in 1996.
Water Polo has been an official Olympic game since the 1900 Paris Games. India has had representation in the sport during two editions of the Games – 1948 London and 1952 Helsinki, without winning a single medal.
1900 Paris, 1908 London and 1912 Stockholm Games are the only edition of Olympics where Weightlifting was not competed. India competed in the sport at the Olympics for the first time during the 1936 Berlin Games.
U Zaw Weik – a native of Burma was the first lifter to represent India at the Olympics. The first Indian origin lifter to represent the country was Dandamudi Rajagopal. Though the country has been a regular at weightlifting in Olympics since 1936, with 2008 being the only exception, India has just one Olympic medal in the sport – a bronze by Karnam Malleswari during the 2000 Sydney Games.
Wrestling has been a part of the Olympics ever since the 1896 Athens Games, with the only exception being Paris 1900. India sent its first wrestling contingent to the Olympics during the 1920 Antwerp Games. Kumar Navale and Randhir Shinde's were the first grapplers to represent India at the Olympics.
The country has since won a total of 5 medals in wrestling – one silver and four bronze. The first of those medals were won by KD Jadhav during the 1952 Helsinki Games.
Besides all the above-mentioned sports, India will make its debut at an age-old Olympic sport - Fencing, when Bhavani Devi takes the field at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.