Gold spot, the zing thing for a billion Indians | india | Hindustan Times
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Gold spot, the zing thing for a billion Indians

Indraneel Das salutes Abhinav Bindra — the man who won a billion Indians their first ever individual Olympic gold.

india Updated: Dec 30, 2008 22:17 IST
Indraneel Das

It’s a date permanently etched in Indian history. The last of the naysayers, who held that Indians could never win a gold at the Olympics, were silenced when Abhinav Bindra won the air rifle gold in Beijing.

One cannot forget the look on the champion’s face when he walked into the mixing zone of the Shooting Ranges hall — all the more composed and self-assured. There was no air of disbelief. He walked as though the gold was written against his name. "All I did was remain focused. I did not want to repeat Athens (where he finished 7th)," said the reticent man from Chandigarh. "Aggression was the key."
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"People need to realise what this gold means to Olympic sport in India. You compete against 200-odd nations, and your success is your country’s success."

Life since the gold has been different, but one thing that still bothers him is the fate of the Olympic discipline in India.

“People need to realise what this gold means to Olympic sport in India. Here you are competing against 200-odd nations and your success is your country’s success.”

Sourav Ganguly, a man who knows what success means to him and the country, sang paeans to Bindra.

“It’s been an inspirational performance by Abhinav Bindra,” said Ganguly. Every sport has its big stage and to have performed at the Olympics, which is the biggest stage of them all, is a huge achievement.” And like a true sportsman, Ganguly believes this will give millions hope and a chance to dream. “A gold medal is an inspiration for every Indian,” he said.

Ganguly believes, from now on, every sportsperson will work diligently towards a target — and no target is higher than the gold. “Sportspersons will think if he (Abhinav) can do it, so shall we. It’s an inspiration for us cricketers as well.”