Abhinav Bindra was hoping that by the time Tokyo Olympics conclude this year, he won’t India’s only individual gold medallist at the quadrennial event. However, with the Summer Games postponed by a year due to the coronavirus pandemic, that prospect turning into a reality will have to wait. Also Read - No Shortage of Beds in Delhi, Clarifies Health Minister; 1,330 Fresh COVID-19 Cases in 24 Hrs, Total Tally Over 26,000
The legendary shooter, who created history at the Beijing Games in 2008 by winning gold, felt that it won’t be too long before India produces another Olympic champion Also Read - 'This is What a Failed Lockdown Looks Like', Rahul Gandhi Ups Ante Against Govt Over COVID-19 Crisis
“I was certainly hoping that come July-August this year I would not remain the only one. I think it is a matter of time before we win more golds. A lot of young athletes are doing really well in different sports. I do hope that the athletes remain motivated, continue to train and remain focused for the Games which will now be held in July 2021,” Bindra said on Sony Ten’s The Medal of Glory. Also Read - Pakistan Cricketer Taufeeq Umar Recovers From COVID-19, Urges People to Take Virus Seriously
He added, “What I would like to see in our country is more people playing sports just for the sheer joy of it and the health . When that starts to happen we will have more people in elite sport.”
He also reckons that providing infrastructure at the grassroots level isn’t enough. A solid foundation entails providing young kids the right knowledge right which will translate into more involvement and success.
“A strong grassroots programme (is not just) about giving young kids the requisite infrastructure but also the right knowledge. At that level, it is critical that the foundation of young kids is set really strong and I think in the years to come we will have more success and more involvement in sports. Sports is the next big thing coming out of this country,” the 37-year-old said.
Bindra has had his fare share of success and failures. However, it wasn’t the times when he didn’t achieve his goals that left him disappointed.
“I have failed a lot of times in my life,” Bindra said. “But the most difficult moment in my sporting career was actually when I succeeded. When I won the gold medal at the Olympic Games, it was the biggest moment of my life but it also left a void where I didn’t know what do with myself.”
He continued, “For me looking back at my 21-year career in the sport, that period post Beijing was the most difficult time. Of course there were failures and adversities but you accept that as a challenge and move ahead but when this void suddenly hit me for a while, that was when I was at my lowest ebb.
“However, I overcame with the support of my family, coaches and with time. That is the most important thing, sometimes you feel hopeless but it is about being patient and persevering through it. And then, the sun starts shining again,” he added.