Shooter Abhinav Bindra’s gold medal win at the 2008 Summer Olympics has been voted as India’s Greatest Olympic Moment in the polls conducted by The Bridge on social media platforms.
Four months after the International Olympic Committee and officials in Japan postponed the Games amid soaring coronavirus infection rates and lockdowns across the world, uncertainty prevails. The unpredictable nature of the virus is making it impossible for officials to say definitively that the Games will happen or, if they do, what they might look like. Though we are missing the fervour of the quadrennial event, we are soaked in the Olympic spirit. To fill the void we organised a poll over a week to vote for India’s greatest Olympic moment.
From KD Jadhav’s bronze in 1952 to Sindhu’s Silver in 2016, we have come a long way seeing our heroes making memories at the Olympics.
— The Bridge (@TheBridge_IN) July 23, 2020
We hand-picked 16 major occasions where Indians excelled at the Olympics and pitted the moments for a vote. Some of the moments included, India’s women’s team qualifying for 2016b Olympics after 36 years, Leander Paes winning a Bronze medal, Indian men’s hockey team’s golden run, Sushil Kumar’s consecutive medals, among other. In the final round of polling, Abhinav Bindra was pitted against Indian men’s hockey team, where the former won by a margin of 60%-40%.
Abhinav Bindra is currently India’s only individual Olympic gold medallist. His gold in the 10 meter air rifle event at the 2008 Summer Olympics was also India’s first Olympic gold medal since 1980. He is the first Indian to have held concurrently the World and Olympic titles for the Men’s 10-meter air rifle event: 2008 Summer Olympics and the 2006 ISSF World Shooting Championships. Bindra has also won 9 medals at the Commonwealth Games and 3 gold medals at the Asian Games.
With over 150 medals in his 22-year career, he is the recipient of the Padma Bhushan from the Government of India, and one of the top influencers of Sport Policy in the country.
In May 2016, the Indian Olympics Association (IOA) appointed Abhinav Bindra as the Goodwill Ambassador for the Rio 2016 Olympics Indian Contingent. In the 2016 Summer Olympics, Bindra finished 4th in the finals of the 10-meter air rifle event. On 5 September 2016, Abhinav Bindra announced his retirement.
Abhinav Bindra’s primary outreach to Indian sports is through the Abhinav Bindra Foundation, a non-profit organization that works to integrate sports, science, and technology into Indian sports and encourage high-performance Physical Training.
On 30 November 2018, Bindra was bestowed with the prestigious Blue Cross, the ISSF’s highest honour. Abhinav Bindra is also currently a member of the IOC Athletes’ Commission.