In 2008, in the final of the men's 10m air rifle at the Beijing Olympic Games, India's Bindra stood out and won the gold medal in this event.
As soon as the news came out, the Indian people cheered all over the country, and even the president and prime minister in front of the television set burst into tears.
This is not only India's first gold medal at the Games, but also India's first gold medal in an individual event since the Games were held more than 100 years ago.
Why did more than 100 million people in India win only the first individual gold medal in hundreds of years? And how did India's Bindra win this hard-won gold medal?
[Breeze] 01. Bindra's path to growth
It is important to know that in India, it is very difficult for ordinary people to succeed by taking the road of sports.
Because India is a country that does not attach much importance to sports, the government invests very little in sports, and both infrastructure and coaching talents are very scarce, as can be seen from the movie "Wrestling Dad".
But Bindra is not an ordinary person, he was born into a high-caste family in India, and his father was the largest merchant of shooting products in India, Bindra grew up playing air rifle.
In the beginning, Bindra's father wanted his son to grow up to inherit the family business rather than become an athlete, as the odds of becoming a world champion in India were too low.
Bindra himself only took up air rifle as a hobby.
Until one time, Bindra Sr. invited an air rifle instructor to visit his son's exclusive shooting range.
The coach saw that although Bindra's shooting results were not particularly impressive, he shot very steadily and was able to maintain a high level of performance in every shot.
The coach suggested that Bindra Sr. could train his son to become a world champion in shooting.
The elder Bindra asked his son's opinion, and the younger Bindra said in a very firm tone: Okay, I will definitely become India's first world champion.
Since then, Bindra Jr. has given up other hobbies and rest and play time to practice shooting hard.
Every morning at 6 a.m., he wakes up on time, first exercises for an hour, and then immediately practices shooting. Maintain more than 7 hours of training time every day, practice in summer and winter practice, never stop.
The elder Bindra also provided him with the best training conditions, hired world-class coaches for him, built a shooting training range exactly like the Olympic site, dozens of sets of shooting equipment, and professional computer analysis equipment.
Bindra's training conditions were much better than at the Indian National Stadium, and he couldn't find any teammates at home, so he went to play for clubs abroad.
Over the years, he competed in competitions large and small, gradually winning a number of medals until he competed in the 10m air rifle world championships in 2006 and won the championship.
After winning the World Championships, Bindra began preparing for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
[Breeze] 02 Bindra's road to victory
Despite Bindra's preparations, the level of competition at the Olympics was far beyond his imagination.
In the first round of qualifying, a total of players from more than 100 countries competed, each of whom could shoot 60 shots, and according to the overall ranking, only 8 people finally advanced.
Bindra struggled to adjust his nerves and hit 60 rounds with a steady pace, beating opponents from over 100 countries before advancing to the top 8 with an excellent overall result.
The next round of finals is the real battle of masters.
Among the top eight, the strongest opponent is Zhu Qinan from China, who won the men's 10m air rifle at the last Athens Olympics.
What's even more terrifying is that the Chinese team has promoted to the 2 strongest players, as we all know, the cooperation between the Chinese team members is very powerful, and it can be seen that the Chinese team is determined to win this gold medal.
Bindra, on the other hand, is on his own, and he will have to win every round of the next 14 rounds to win the gold medal he has always dreamed of.
Bindra looked into the audience, there were very few people in India, only his coach and father waved at him vigorously, cheering him on with encouraging eyes.
Bindra's heart was heavy, thinking back to how much sweat he had sweated and how many failures he had experienced and stood up again, just for this gold medal that represented national honor.
He thought of his native India:
"We are a country with a large population, an ancient civilization, and an economic power, but why don't we have an individual Olympic gold medal? I must work hard to win that gold medal and let the motherland be ashamed of being a "weak country in sports." ”
Thinking of this, Bindra sank his heart and focused all his attention on the air rifle in his hand and the target in front of him.
After 14 rounds of fierce competition, Bindra lived up to expectations, defeated some of the strongest opponents in the world, and finally won the gold medal in the 10m air rifle.
Until the congratulations from the rostrum came, Bindra couldn't believe his ears: "I did it? I won the Olympic championship? I made history!"
At the same time, the thunderous applause in the audience continued.
Whether it is Indians, Chinese, or audiences from other countries, they all stood up and cheered for Bindra, cheered for India.
And the people of India, including their president and prime minister, who were in front of the television, were moved to tears by this historic moment, and they cheered:
"India finally has its first Olympic champion, and India's history is about to be rewritten!"
After returning home, Bindra was warmly welcomed by the people of his homeland, and he was their national hero, a model of the times, and a pioneer in India's construction of a sports power.
The Indian government rewarded Bindra with 10 million rupees and other institutions with 30 million rupees, and the government rewarded him with free train rides for life.
The old Bindra couple were so happy that they put their hands together and kept reading: "Oh, my God, thank you for your blessing!"
Bindra fulfilled his dream of becoming an Olympic champion and was rewarded more than he expected, and the elder Bindra decided to reward his son heavily.
Bindra got a company under the family group worth 2 billion rubles and at the same time became the CEO of the family business!
It turned out that while Bindra was training hard, the business he managed was not pulled down. He also found time to study and earned a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Colorado in the United States.
After the Olympics, Bindra returned to his normal work and studies. His next goal is to establish a shooting training school in India to train more shooting athletes for India.
He hopes that through his efforts, he will change the Indian people's perception of sports, increase people's enthusiasm for competitive sports, and change the face of a country with weak sports.
[Breeze] 03.Why is India a weak country in sports?
With a population of more than 1 billion and has been promoted to become the world's fifth-largest economy, why is sports so weak? The number of gold medals won in the past 100 years is actually not as good as the number of gold medals won by the mainland in one Olympic Games.
Of course, India is not entirely without gold medals, as before 1980, India won eight hockey team gold medals, and since then it has been insulated from gold medals for 28 years.
After Bindra won his first gold medal in an individual event in 2008, India was again cut off from gold medals, and it was not until 12 years later that he won another gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics.
Why is that?
First of all, India is a country that does not attach much importance to sports, and the state invests very little in sports, only $2 per capita.
Bindra, for example, was only funded by the state for training during his preparations for the Olympics.
The training venue, training equipment, training equipment, coaching fees, etc. are all paid out of pocket, and even the ticket to participate in the competition needs to be bought by yourself.
And India's meagre sports funding, half of which is allocated to cricket, is unfortunately not available for the Olympics at all.
Secondly, the Indian population has little enthusiasm for competitive sports.
India has a long-established caste system where people from the upper castes and those with lower castes do not participate in the same activities.
So even cricket and hockey, which Indians love, are only sports played by high-caste people.
Cricket and hockey were brought to India by the British during the British colonial period, and became popular among the upper class of India, and gradually became the favorite sports of the upper class.
They have excellent conditions, and they want their children to work in business, politics, doctors, lawyers, etc., which is better than enduring hardship and becoming athletes, not to mention how rare it is to become an Olympic champion in India.
They think about how to eat well, and obviously being an athlete is not a profession with a high income and a high success rate.
Finally, under the influence of religion, most Indians pay more attention to the cultivation of the inner spiritual world, advocating a peaceful life and disliking competitive sports.
They believe in a variety of gods, most of which are Buddhism, most of whom are vegetarians, practicing yoga and meditation, and the fierceness of sports is at odds with their values.
However, with the improvement of India's comprehensive national strength, it has also joined the industry of great power competition in recent years.
Hosting and participating in the Olympic Games is the best opportunity for a country to show its comprehensive national strength.
China's performance on the track of the Olympic Games is a shining one, and India naturally refuses to let go of such an opportunity to perform, and they are determined to imitate China and surpass China.
Since Bindra's first gold medal in an individual event, India has been ambitious and says that India's sporting career is on the verge of success.
In recent years, the Indian government has been investing more and more in sports. Their ambition is evident in their slogan "Let Indian Sports Go Global".
In the 2016 Rio Olympics, India sent 120 athletes, participated in more than 15 events, and won 0 gold medals!
India was not discouraged, and at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, India once again competed in 123 athletes in 18 events, and won a record number of medals: 1 gold, 2 silver, 4 bronze and a total of 7 medals.
But for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, India will only send one person to participate, and what is the reason for this?
[Breeze] 04. Epilogue: The charm of the Olympic Games
The Olympic Games are the world's largest sporting event, having been held 32 times, with more than 200 countries participating in each event, and tens of thousands of participants in each edition.
Why are so many countries and individuals actively participating in the Olympic Games?
Because human beings have loved competition since ancient times, and they have not stopped for thousands of years. Nowadays, under the premise of advocating world peace, the competition in the sports arena has become the most beautiful scenery.
The Olympic gold medal is not only an honor for individual athletes, but also a manifestation of the self-confidence and cohesion of the country and the nation. The number of gold medals won in the Olympic Games is a manifestation of the country's comprehensive strength and a demonstration of its mental outlook.
But anyone who wants to win the gold medal in the Olympic Games, the effort and hard work behind it are unimaginable to ordinary people, salute every world champion!