What helped Abhinav Bindra to bring first World Championship Gold for India?
Money cannot buy a talent, but its inherited by birth.
Identifying, nurturing and training at the right age is all that can bring a star out of an ordinary child. This tip has been perfectly followed and implemented by Abhinav Bindra’s parents who gave India a champion of shooting.
About Abhinav Bindra:
Born on 28th September 1982 in Dehradun to the proud parents Dr. Apjit Bindra and Babli Bindra, Abhinav is now a world known Indian shooter who gained numerous of titles for his achievements.
He won the first individual gold medal for India in the history of 108 years. Not only this, Abhinav won many more awards for which he and his hard work were not only the reasons, instead his parents also contributed a huge efforts.
Although, Abhinav was born and brought in a rich Punjabi Khatri family who are the promoters of Hitech Group of Companies. Hitech group deals in computer gaming, agro and dogfood-processing, pharmaceuticals and livestock genetics, thus, owns the turnover of Rs. 300 crores.
Despite of such a strong background, Abhinav never gave a thought to get involved in the family business after his studies. The reason being, there was something else for which he was desperate and wanted to achieve. His family also supported him and never forced him to get involved with Hitech, but they arranged everything for him that could help to fulfill his dreams.
Abhinav at his childhood:
Abhinav was a talented kid who never gave a thought of quitting the studies to fulfill his dreams. With his parents support, he maintained a perfect balance between his studies and ambition of becoming a shooter.
He studied at Dun School, Dehradun, followed by St. Stephens School, Chandigarh. Later, he completed BBA and MBA from Colorado University, USA. Meanwhile, he also achieved various awards and recognitions for his talent.
Since childhood, Abhinav was very keen about shooting. Usually, parents ignore their kid’s passion and makes them to focus on studies. Abhinav’s father never did this to him, instead admiring his interest within the same, his father built an in-house shooting range for him in Patiala, Punjab. Following the same, he is still having a lavishing indoor shooting range in the backyard of home, where he practices shooting.
Practicing with a professional trainer is very important in order to nurture the skill. His parents knew this fact and thus, they helped him with a regular training.
Let’s have a look, how Abhinav’s training sessions started and made him to become a renowned shooter.
Who helped Abhinav to start journey towards success?
Abhinav Bindra is now the most popular and vibrant Indian shooter of India. He started stepping forward to get this popularity and name by practicing at in-house shooting range set by his father.
Since, his training sessions were incomplete without a trainer, so Lt. Col. Dhillon and Amit Bhattacharjee started assisting him. After Abhinav’s parents, they both were the first ones who spotted the talent and potential.
With the immense support of Abhinav’s parents and regular guidance by Lt. Col. Dhillon and Amit Bhattacharjee helped him to become a perfectionist at shooting. The incredible contribution of support and training by Abhinav’s trainers and parents helped him to become a professional shooter at an early age of 15.
In 1998, he participated at Kuala Lumpur Commonwealth Games and became the youngest participant among all. Following this, he kept on participating in various national and international events.
Abhinav’s supporting pillars and achievements:
- With incredible support by parents, Abhinav Bindra managed to continue his studies without any obstructions and he became youngest participant at Olympic Games in 2000. Not only, he participated, but also acquired 11th place and 590 scores in the qualification round.
Although, this score was not enough to make him qualified for finals in Olympics, but he didn’t got discouraged and lose the hope. It was his family who always stood for him to motivate even when he faced a fate.
- For an exclusive performance in 2000, he received Arjuna Award within the same year. Slowly and gradually, Abhinav kept on moving with a confidence and opened a wide window of fame by winning a Bronze in 2001 Munich World Cup.
Again, he maintained a new world record score of 597/600. Thus, respecting his talent, he got a glorious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award in 2001.
- Abhinav kept his training sessions continued even after moving abroad for higher studies. He never bounded his talent, but with parent’s support, he again participated in Commonwealth Games, Manchester in 2002 for the second time.
Finally, he won gold medal in Paris for qualifying the event conducted.
- After Bindra’s numerous achievements, his mother started thinking that he is one of the India’s eligible bachelor, but he was not prepared for the marriage. Unlike other parents, Abhinav’s parents didn’t pressurized and forced him for marriage, but they helped him to become first Indian shooter to win World Championship gold in 2006.
He made the history after Dr. Karni Singh who won World Championship silver in 1962. There were many more events like Melbourne Commonwealth Games in 2006, where Abhinav won Gold and Bronze for India.
- After winning gold at 2006 ISSF World Shooting Championship, he again captured a gold medal in 10 m Air Rifle competition at 2008 Olympic Games in beijing. With this feat, he became the first Indian to achieve World and Olympic titles at the same time.
Such success of him, not only made his parents and trainers proud, but also the entire country, India.
However, Abhinav Bindra was becoming a superstar for the nation by bringing various awards and medals to the country.
But, for a star, it become sometimes difficult to shine. Similarly, Abhinav also faced a dark time, when he missed excellent opportunities. In such cases, successful people lose their hope and it becomes difficult for them to come back and start with the same energy and spirit of winning. It was again his family, who helped him to rise and shine again.
Let’s see what obstructions came to Abhinav’s success and how he managed to rescue from it.
Difficult times of Abhinav Bindra:
- First roadblock into the journey of Abhinav’s success came in 2004, when he aimed to break the record in Athens Olympics, but he didn’t even acquired a medal. Following the winners, Qinan Zhu and Li Jie, he scored 597 in the qualification and stood at third place. He was also the only player who scored below 100 within this tournament.
- Second obstruction raised in 2006, when his career could have stopped from grooming. This year he underwent a back injury due to which he was out of touch from his career. He got career-threatening spinal injury that was due to overstretching of ligament in the lumbodorsal region such that he was not even able to lift the rifle.
However, he followed a rehabilitation programme on the regular basis that helped him to reduce the strain on spine. With the help of the best professionals, he made some technical changes to get better posture which helped him to overcome the injury.
These stages were career threatening for Abhinav, but he was not alone in these dark times. It was his family and their support who not only helped him with best medical facility for cure, but also motivated him to get back to the field when he failed.
It would have been difficult for such a great achiever to come back, but he did. He again booked his place in Beijing Olympics by winning a gold medal.
These incidents was not only enough to inspire the other players who lost and never came back to the stage. Instead, this come back of him is also inspiring for all those youth who give lame excuses of their physical and other issues. If Abhinav would also have done the same, he couldn’t have become the master of his domain.
According to Abhinav, training is not only studying the strategies of the competitors, instead it also involves challenging yourself each time while practicing.
“If you can shoot perfectly when no one is around, if you can challenge yourself to the limit and succeed, there is nothing that can hold you back.”, says, Abhinav Bindra.
He has not only became pride for parents and trainers with his hard work, but also for India. He has served India many ways and thus, a lot of honours has also been made by the country for him. Below, we have discussed some of them.
Abhinav for India and India for Abhinav:
Abhinav for India:
Bindra’s family always supported Abhinav in various ways and resulting of this, he is now serving the country, India superficially. Despite of having -4 power in his both eyes, he is a renowned shooter and pride of India.
Let’s have a look over his dedication and hardwork that ultimately helped India to bring various medals.
- He received gold medal from the princess of a small country in central Europe for his achievements. This medal was dedicated by him to his fellow athletes.
- Abhinav is one of the major beneficiaries of government support that runs upto the amount of one crore rupees.
- When Abhinav received the gold medal, there was a tremendous demand of air rifles across India that hit the existing record.
- Recently, Abhinav brought gold medal for India in 2014 Commonwealth Games organized at Glasgow.
- Abhinav is undergoing the training of five-time Olympic shooter from Basel, Switzerland, Gabriele Buhlmann. With him, he did tough commando training for three weeks.
- After he undergone severe back injury in 2006, he with his family fought hard with the situation. His preparation was so good that it startled many psychologists. He even bought yak’s milk from China thinking that it will help him to enhance concentration, but unfortunately, it didn’t.
- Once, he made 20 days experiment by wearing a single pair of shooting shoes. Following it, he discovered that they need 1 mm of thickness for perfection.
- For mental preparation, he went for 20, 000 feet skydiving a couple of weeks before the London Games.
- Not only this, he also slept between red ants to admire his holding strength.
Watching his tough preparations, one of his coaches, Heinz Reinkemeier, said, “He is getting mad again”. He also added, “Abhi is getting into the groove again. After winning gold in Beijing, he perhaps lost his way a bit. But the focus is back now. He is back doing the weird things.”
Abhinav always learned from his parents and trainers that the practice is the most important thing to acquire success.
In some of his interviews, he committed, “When you are shooting, you are too focused on your job”, “At the end of the day, you have to see that your best is better than that of others.”
He also thanked his parents who helped him to get best coaches. Thanking them, he says, “Well, one is always striving to do better,” he says. “I was world champion and Olympic champion, but I always try to better my own performance. I don’t like to think about what’s going to happen. Maybe that’s how others prepare. When I go to sleep, I need to be happy with the effort I have put in. I am sleeping peacefully. I am happy.”
India for Abhinav:
- Not only Abhinav brought praisable achievements to India, but the country has also honoured him for his incredible efforts. These contributions by the country to Abhinav can push the upcoming youth as well to become the next superstar.
- 35 lakh rupees has been released by National Sports Development Fund for his training in Germany. This amount also include the fees of trainer and sports psychologist.
- On returning back to India with a gold medal, he was awarded by many private associations and state governments too. Punjab State Government, BCCI, Haryana State Government and Steel Ministry of India awarded huge prize money ranging from Rs. 15 lakh to Rs. 1 crore.
- Abhinav received the privilege by Railway Ministry of India of travelling for free in trains throughout his lifetime.
- His tracksuit is having a leopard with the word, ‘Shiv Naresh’ inscribed below. This is a sign of Shiv Naresh manufacturer who is providing clothing for Indian sportspersons since 1991.
What else Abhinav’s success can teach us?
Abhinav has not only limited his expertise to participating and achieving medals for India. Instead, he is contributing in many more ways. Since, Abhinav always got training resources and trainers with the help of his parents, therefore, he also took some initiatives of serving the youth who are living with an aim of becoming a perfectionist shooter like him.
Bidding a goodbye to the career of shooting, he took retirement in Sep’ 2016 and said ‘it is time to move on and hand over the baton to the younger generation.’
He aimed for training young athletes to which he will provide additional funds, high quality equipment and expertise team that can support them. Not only this, he also own a company, Abhinav Futuristics, the sole agent of German-made Walther weapons in India.
Due to his incredible achievements, he received many graceful remarks by his loved ones. A few of them are:
- Proud father of Abhinav: “My son has proved that ‘Singh is King’ in a real sense. He has brought laurels for the whole Sikh community and for the whole nation”.
- Manohar Singh Gill (Indian Sports Minister) : “Bindra’s performance would inspire the nation to more glory.”
- Hakkinen (Rifle Shooter) : “He performed a very great final.”
This is how, Abhinav Bindra never let his parent’s support (financial, mental and physical) to go vain. He kept on moving with his goals and brought various gold medals that India had never achieved.
Akin to Abhinav, each child can be nourished at his early stage. But it is important for the parents to admire their expertise and interest, so that they can provide precious support to their kids.