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Never in the history of the Olympic Games has India won 3 medals in a single Olympics. We have many good things to take away from the Beijing Olympics of 2008:

  1. For the first time ever, an Indian won a Gold medal in an individual event. The honour went to 25 year old Abhinav Bindra in the 10 metres air rifle shooting.
  2. For the first time ever, an Indian won a medal in boxing. That honour went to 22 year old Vijender Kumar who won the bronze medal.
  3. After a long gap of 52 years, India won a medal in wrestling. This was through Sushil Kumar who won the bronze medal.

These performances have captured the attention of a country which till now seemed to be enamoured with just one game- cricket. Hopefully, the feats of these young men will prompt many others to vie for international honours in these games. They can be role models for many other young men who aspire to represent their nation in the Olympic Games.

While Bindra comes from an affluent family which suppported him greatly in his quest for glory, Vijender and Sushil have had to struggle with very limited resources to become successful in their events. This is not to take away anything from Bindra’s remarkable achievement, because you may have the best of facilities yet not have the nerve and the temperament when it matters the most. Bindra displayed exemplary temperament so coolly to win the first ever gold medal for an individual event for India.

One thing is for sure. The feats of Bindra, Vijender and Sushil in the Beijing Olympics will not only be a historic achievement  but will hopefully be a catalyst in future successes for Indian sportspersons. They have proved that Indians are no longer suspect of being psychologically wanting in top level events- often facing opponents ranked far higher then them.

Well done, boys. You have earned a great name for yourselves and done the country proud.

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This is Post No: 264 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.