Even though Indians haven’t won a lot of medals at the Olympics, they have made their presence known. Indians have done very well at these games. They have been hockey champions for decades and have broken many Olympic records in different sports. These Indian Olympians did their country proud at the Olympics, the biggest and most prestigious sports competition in the world. Let’s look at some of the most well-known Indian Olympians ever.
1. Neeraj Chopra
Neeraj Chopra made history when he became the first Indian track and field athlete to win a gold medal at the Olympics. He did this in his first Olympics, when he was only 23 years old. His performance at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo made history and gave young athletes a lot to think about. At the moment, he is the second best athlete in the world.
2. Dhyan Chand
Major Dhyan Chand was the captain of the Indian hockey team at the Olympics. For three straight Olympics, the team won gold under his leadership. Because of his influence, India won the gold medal in hockey at 7 of the next 8 Olympic games. He was known for his skill with the ball, and young athletes look up to him. In India, his birthday is known as the National Sports Day. The highest sports award in India, the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award, is named after him.
3. Abhinav Bindra
Abhinav Bindra is the first Indian Olympian to win a gold medal on his own in the Men’s 10m Air Rifle event. At the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, he was only 26 years old and held both the world and Olympics titles at the same time. He has a big say in how the country handles sports, and through his foundation, he inspires and helps a lot of young athletes.
4. PV Sindhu
She is the first Indian woman athlete to ever win a medal at two straight Olympics. She made her country proud when she won a silver medal in her first Olympics in 2016 and a bronze medal in 2020. She is the first badminton player from India to ever make it to the finals of the Olympics.
5. Rajyavardan Singh Rathore
Between 2002 and 2006, Rathore won 26 medals at international events. Everyone had high hopes for him, and they all thought he would do well at the Olympics. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore did what everyone thought he would do and won a silver medal in the Men’s Double Trap Shooting event at the 2004 Olympics in Athens.
6. Saikhom Mirabai Chanu
Chanu was an Olympian for the first time at the 2016 games in Rio. But luck was not on her side that year. She worked harder and got into the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. There, in the women’s 49kg weightlifting event, she won the silver medal like a rock star. People look up to her because of how hard she works at her sport.
7. Sushil Kumar
56 years after KD Jadhav won an Olympic medal, Sushil Kumar won a bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. This made everyone proud. He went on to win the silver medal at the Olympics in London in 2012, keeping his legacy alive. His wins have given Indian wrestlers today a lot of motivation to keep getting better and better.
8. KD Jadhav
KD Jadhav made history when he became the first athlete from India after it gained its independence to win a medal at the Olympics. At the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, he wrestled and won a bronze medal. As a respected Indian Olympian and wrestler, he will be remembered for a long time.
9. Leander Paes
He is the first and only tennis player from India to have competed in seven straight Olympic Games, from 1992 to 2016. He won a bronze medal in men’s singles tennis at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. He is one of the most well-known Olympians from India in history.
10. Mary Kom
Everyone can learn something from Mary Kom’s story. Mary Kom made it to the women’s boxing event at the 2012 London Olympics. This was the first time that this event was held at the Olympics. In those Games, she got the bronze medal. She made it to the Olympics in 2020 in Tokyo, which was her last time at the games.