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On This Day, Abhinav Bindra Became the 1st Indian to Win Olympic Gold. But What Happened After That?

File photo of Abhinav Bindra (Photo Credit: Reuters)

File photo of Abhinav Bindra (Photo Credit: Reuters)

Abhinav Bindra worked for 15 years of his life to win the elusive Olympic gold and when he did, he didn't know what else to do.

Abhinav Bindra has written a memorable script in the Indian sporting storyline. Bindra reached a pinnacle that nobody had before him and none have been able to touch it till date.

Abhinav Bindra was the first Indian to win a gold medal at the Olympics and remains the only one with that colour so far. 12 years since his remarkable achievement, India is still searching for another gold.

12 years ago on August 11, Abhinav Bindra had shot the mark that fetched him the valuable gold medal at Beijing Olympics and the celebration of that has never ended.

His 10.8 last shot took him to ultimate glory there is in an Olympic sport but what he went through after that defines what it takes for a sportsman to journey to the top.


Bindra had worked for the elusive Olympic gold for 15 years of his life. He had “one goal, one dream" and then one day, when he achieved exactly what he had worked for all his life, he went blank.

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“One fine day I had this gold medal in my pocket, and from one day to the other I really didn’t know what to do," Bindra said to Olympic Channel.

He described how he lost all sense of motivation after reaching the top and struggled to find strength to do anything more.

“I lost all motivation, and it was really tough. It was really tough to deal with success.

“It’s not uncommon in athletes to actually go through this mental low phase, when they’re actually extremely successful.

“You’re used to having a goal, you’re used to working hard at it and pursuing that dream, pursuing that goal, and then one day it’s all done and dusted," Bindra described.

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The 37-year-old revealed that he contemplated quitting the sport as well and went to a meditation retreat to find his new purpose. However, that gave him an altogether different realisation.

“It was at that time I actually wanted to quit sport and move on to a different area in life, and find a new ambition. I went on a ten-day meditation retreat, which was a silent retreat where we had to meditate seven hours a day and we couldn’t talk for ten days.

“I was there really with the intention of finding my next goal, finding my next path. And I arrive at this retreat and for ten days I think about nothing else but how I could improve in my own performance, and actually it was that realisation that I still loved the sport, I loved the process of what I did, that gave me the energy to pursue my Olympic dream and I competed in two more Olympic Games after that."

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first published:August 11, 2020, 14:06 IST