Olympics are special and there are many reasons. There is, on this planet, no other sporting event that is so vast and with such a glorious past, which makes it the biggest any day. Apart from this, the event comes once in four years. A wait for so long makes it even more special and every budding athlete dreams of being decorated with an Olympic medal in their career in their respective sports. However, the Rio Olympics 2016 was also very special, being the last to see three athletes take part in their own specialities. While it is Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps whom the world will miss the most from the next edition, Indians have another name- Abhinav Bindra. (Read: 2016 Rio Olympics Medal Tally: USA finish as leader, India take 67th spot)
Michael Phelps is a name that became a phenomenon itself. The athlete has the most number of Olympics medals in the history of the game- the count being 28 while 23 of them are gold medals. A great portion of USA’s dominance in medal tally has been engineered by the swimmer who has left nothing more to achieve in his sport. A journey, that started in 2000, came to a sweet ending as Phelps ended his Olympics career with the five gold medals in Rio 2016, best of the season for the fourth time in a row.
While it is Phelps in water, it is Usain Bolt who rules on track. The fastest man recorded, Bolt made his final appearance in the gala with the 4X100m relay and finished off in style, with a gold. The cool Jamaican made sure he remains at the top throughout his Olympics career, as he defended his titles in men’s 100m and 200m individual races for the second time in a row, winning three straight gold medals in both and replicated the same in the team event of relay.
However, the story of Abhinav Bindra is a lot different from these two. A country, where cricket is the major sport and the craze for other sports has a long gap to that for cricket, it took India long to win their first individual gold in Olympics. Abhinav Bindra’s shooting event in London Olympics 2012 brought the moment in Indians’ lives, of watching the tri-colour hoisted high, of listening to the national anthem during the medal ceremony. After a disappointing start in this edition of the games with stars failing to do anything remarkable, all eyes were on Bindra, their hero and more because this was his final appearance as well. The shooter finished fourth, though a very close one but that could not compensate the pain of watching the hero go medal-less in his final hunt.
The world will remember Phelps and Bolt forever, and will miss them from the next Olympics. For India, there will be one more name, Abhinav Bindra.