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I start with a confession. Like, I presume, millions of my countrymen, I did not really know too much about Abhinav Bindra till yesterday. The 24 year old shooter brought immense pride to us Indians by winning the 10m air rifle shooting Gold Medal at the Beijing Olympics in a thrilling final.

The feat must be seen in context:

  1. He is the first Indian ever to win an Olympic Gold Medal- for an individual event.
  2. We have won gold medals in the past- or should I say, distant past, but they were all for a team sport-field hockey. Besides, the last one was way back in 1980.
  3. An entire generation- my children in their 20s included-  has grown up without seeing such an achievement.
  4. He had severe back problem some years ago which almost came in the way of his career. He has overcome all these challenges which call for immense motivation and courage.
  5. His final was not easy. The person he beat to the Gold – Zhu Quinan of China-was actually the Gold winner at the last Olympics in Athens.

One was impressed by his “ubercool ” demeanor especially  by his crisp and almost business like replies in the post event conference. He seems to be highly motivated and disciplined. His focus and psychological strength seems to be quite amazing for one of his age.

What can I say other than that young Bindra has made the country proud. I thought to myself I am seeing history being made and became emotional when the Indian National Anthem was played for the first time in 28 years in the Olympics.

May Abhinav go from strength to strength and continue to inspire many other talented youth.

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This is Post No: 252 of the “A Step A Day” series : To provide perspective and provoke thought to facilitate self-development across a wide spectrum of issues- big and small- crucial for executive success.