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"I often laugh silently when I think back at how it all began.... A long and almost bizarre journey for a chubby fat 12 year old boy who hated all activity and sport!" -Abhinav Bindra

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Interview with Abhinav Bindra, India's only individual Olympic Gold Medalist

March 28 2010

app2us is buzzing with excitement. Its time to interview Abhinav Bindra. Abhinav Bindra is the current World and Olympic champion in the 10 m Air Rifle event. By winning the gold in the 10 m Air Rifle event at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, he became the first Indian to win an individual gold medal at the Olympic Games and India's first gold medal since 1980, when the Men's Field Hockey Team won the gold. He received the Arjuna Award at the young age of 17 and has been the youngest recipient of the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Awards - the highest sporting honor of India at 18 years. Abhinav has also been decorated with the Padma Bhushan, the third highest civilian honor of India, in 2009.

Abhinav holds a Bachelors in Business Management from University of Colorado and a Diploma in Sports Mental Management from Munich. He is the director of Abhinav Futuristics Limited.

app2us: Abhinav, It is a privilege for us to be able to interview you.
Abhinav Bindra: Thank you so much for interviewing me for your website. I am honored.

app2us: In a country where you did not have any example of individual Olympic gold medalist, what inspired you to pursue an Olympic medal in a rather unconventional sport. How and when did you take up shooting?
Abhinav: Not having an individual Olympic Gold Medalist in India was the reason, inspiration and the motivation to get that elusive Gold Medal for my country. I wanted to be the one to bring about that change. I often laugh silently when I think back at how it all began.... A long and almost bizarre journey for a chubby fat 12 year old boy who hated all activity and sport! All the running, kicking, chasing and hitting involved in football and tennis left me breathless and bugged and even more hungry! My parents worried about my complete lack of interest in anything that required some laws of motion and after much deliberation a sporty uncle was brought in to share their troubled thoughts ! He was entrusted with the monumental task of introducing me to the joys of sport and rifle shooting in particular . I was also introduced to my first coach Col. Dhillon. Rifle shooting caught my fancy immediately, primarily because you just had to stand as still as possible!

app2us: How do you plan to use your popularity to inspire youth to excel in different sports?
Abhinav: Today I talk to you as someone who has achieved his dream of an Olympic gold. And with my achievement, I have helped create a new way of thinking - a changed way of thinking for a nation of 1 billion and 200 million people. Earlier, Indians were told, and they believed, - that they had the potential to win an Olympic gold. Sportspeople across the country were exhorted to do their best - because participation is what matters. Today, participation is not enough - today they have their eyes trained on the top step of the podium. Today they believe that it can be done - because someone who believed - has done it. And this is a huge change - the shift in mind-set from "All the Best - do well" to "Go for Gold!".

app2us: [Question contributed by Ambuj Ambarish, IIT Roorkee, India] Sports, in India, is not a career option for most people. Very few dare to take specialized sports training leaving behind traditional studies. If given all the powers what changes would you bring to the sports governance in India which could someday see India getting many gold medals at the Olympics.
Abhinav: One major change that is required to sports governance in India today is - the involvement of active and retired sportspersons in the administration of sports in the country, rather than the administrators who govern the sports federations today without having ever played the sports themselves. This will bring about a sea change in how sports are played in the country.

app2us: In February 2009 at the Aero India international air show you got a ride in an F-16IN super viper jet. How was the experience and did you use any controls during the flight?
Abhinav: The experience of flying in an F-16 was as exhilarating as winning the Olympic Gold Medal.

app2us: Please tell us about the role of your parents in your success.
Abhinav: Looking back, I have to thank my parents for their perseverance in finding the perfect sport for me ....and just pushing me into it . Their support over the years, in victory , and more than ever, in loss. They have always provided a very positive environment at home and this has been crucial for me the realist , who saw things as they were, with all rosiness removed ! In sport this can be very dangerous as when competing at the highest levels, truck loads of in securities set in and encouragement and support is key.

app2us: Please tell us something about your company. How did your education shape you up to start and run a company?
Abhinav: I fully understand that I cannot be playing the sport all my life. There will come a time when I will have to do other things in life. My father, who is a very successful entrepreneur had insisted that along with my shooting I also must get an education and ensured that I go to the best schools. My business education gave me the basic grounding to start and run a company, which I am putting to good use now.

I have also founded the Abhinav Bindra Foundation that is going to support sportspersons from the grass roots level in the country, besides providing healthcare, education and shelter to the destitute and the underprivileged.

app2us: On behalf of our team and readers, we express our gratitude to you for considering to talk to us. We wish you the very best for upcoming events.
Abhinav: Thank you once again and the pleasure was all mine ! In the end, I would like to share my secret with all the readers and visitors of : Work Hard, Focus and Persevere. Success will be Yours. All the BEST!

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