Abhinav Bindra cherishes ‘journey and process’ on his Olympic Gold anniversary | other sports | Hindustan Times
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Abhinav Bindra cherishes ‘journey and process’ on his Olympic Gold anniversary

Abhinav Bindra won the gold medal in the 10m Air Rifle event at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. India is celebrating the ninth anniversary of Bindra’s rare achievement today

other sports Updated: Aug 11, 2017 12:25 IST
Devarchit Varma
Abhinav Bindra of India poses with his gold medal in the Men's 10m Air Rifle Final at the Beijing Shooting Range Hall on Day 3 of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on August 11, 2008.
Abhinav Bindra of India poses with his gold medal in the Men's 10m Air Rifle Final at the Beijing Shooting Range Hall on Day 3 of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on August 11, 2008. (Getty Images)

On this day in 2008, a landmark moment in the history of Indian sports was registered when Abhinav Bindra won the gold medal in the 10m Air Rifle event, at the Beijing Olympics. On the ninth anniversary of his achievement, Bindra credited his success to the ‘journey and process’ which culminated in India’s first individual gold medal.

Abhinav Bindra, who retired from competitive shooting after the conclusion of last year’s Rio Olympics, is known for his determination and doggedness to achieve his goals. During his preparations for the Beijing Olympics, he underwent a training exercise named ‘pizza pole’ — usually in fashion with the German forces.

At the Beijing Olympics, despite qualifying at fourth position, he went on to clinch the first-ever individual goal for India with a score of 104.5 in the final round.

On Friday, celebrating the ninth anniversary of the historic achievement, he wrote on Twitter, “11/08/08. What I remember and cherish is the the journey and the process. The gold medal was just an outcome.”

Abhinav Bindra of India reacts after winning the gold medal in the Men's 10m Air Rifle Final at the Beijing Shooting Range Hall on day 3 of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on August 11, 2008. (Getty Images)

A couple of days ago, in an exclusive letter to his 14-year-old self for Hindustan Times, Bindra wrote, “In the sport that you have chosen, it is obvious that you will dream of Olympic gold. No Indian has ever achieved it in an individual sport.

“You will be reminded of this again and again, and again. What you have the power to do could change what it means to be Indian. No pressure there, but all I want to say is that the quest is a worthy one and you are an equally worthy contender.”

The ace shooter, who was honoured with the Padma Bhushan — India’s highest civilian award — one year after his achievement in Beijing, added, “I sit here today knowing you better than you know yourself and that’s what makes writing you this letter all that more difficult.

“But, ‘difficult’ has never scared you and it doesn’t scare me either. Then again, I must also be careful to not say too much because this is your journey and I wouldn’t want to influence the path you choose for it.”

L-R) Silver medalist Zhu Qinan of China, Gold medalist Abhinav Bindra of India and Bronze medalist Henri Hakkinen of Finland pose after the Men's 10m Air Rifle Final at the Beijing Shooting Range Hall on August 11, 2008 in Beijing. (Getty Images)

In the sport that you have chosen, it is obvious that you will dream of Olympic gold. No Indian has ever achieved it in an individual sport. You will be reminded of this again and again, and again. What you have the power to do could change what it means to be Indian. No pressure there, but all I want to say is that the quest is a worthy one and you are an equally worthy contender,” he added.

Ahead of his final appearance in Olympics, Abhinav Bindra had even written a letter to the fellow Indian athletes, inspiring them to give it their best.

“A lifetime of training, desire and determination has brought all of us here, heading towards the biggest stage in the world of sport. You are, each of you, champions in your own right,” he wrote.