India on the Olympics – Finest Indian American Journal | San Jose CA


This text is a two-part sequence on India’s participation within the earlier Olympic video games and the upcoming Olympic video games. 

Like hundreds of thousands of others, I’m eagerly trying ahead to the resumption of the 2020 Olympics after an unlucky postponement from final 12 months attributable to Covid-19. It begins on July 23, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan a uncommon break from the quadrennial routine. Solely thrice earlier (1916, 1940, and 1944) had been the Video games canceled and it was as a result of two World Wars. 

The Trendy Olympics, a brainchild of the Frenchman Baron Pierre de Coubertin, was inaugurated in Athens, Greece in 1896. The Baron was certainly fired up by grandiose visions of reviving the Historic Olympics in Greece which had come to an finish in 393 AD. The venue of Athens was appropriately chosen to remind all about this historical heritage.

The Olympic Video games, which has grown right into a mammoth sports activities spectacle, had reasonably humble beginnings. Within the First Olympics, there have been solely 9 sports activities: Athletics, Biking, Fencing, Gymnastics, Capturing, Swimming, Tennis, Wrestling, and Weightlifting. Fourteen nations had been listed (some with one competitor.). Greece had a big contingent (169), adopted by France, United States, Nice Britain, and Germany. In 2016, there have been 11,000 rivals from 107 nations. Presently, the overall variety of sports activities stands at 28.

India, as a nation, first made its look within the Olympics in Antwerp in 1920*.  They despatched 6 rivals: 4 athletes and two wrestlers. Since then, India has despatched groups to all the next Olympics. It has been a selected attraction to see the Indian crew march in the course of the opening ceremonies together with all the opposite nations. The boys in turbans and the ladies in sarees are a pleasure to observe. In 2021, India will ship its largest-ever contingent of 69 males and 55 girls who will compete in 18 sports activities, together with Males’s and Ladies’s Discipline hockey and Rifle Capturing. 

*Within the 1900 Paris Olympics, Norman Pritchard, a British resident of Calcutta, gained two silver medals in Observe and Discipline (200 meters and 200-meter hurdles).

India has gained a complete of 28 medals over time. Its crowning glory has undoubtedly been in Discipline Hockey, the place it gained 11 medals (together with 8 golds).  Its final medal was a gold in 1980.

Checklist of Olympic Medals Received By India

Medalists on the 2012 Summer season Olympics. Left to proper: Sushil Kumar (silver), Akzhurek Tanatarov (bronze), Tatsuhiro Yonemitsu (gold) and Liván López (bronze). (Picture by Akira Kouchiyama on Flickr and below Inventive Commons License 2.0)

Discipline Hockey: 11 (Gold: 1928 – 1936, 1948 – 1956, 1964, 1980;  Silver: 1960; Bronze:  1968, 1972) 

Freestyle Wrestling: 5 ( Silver: Sushil Kumar, 66 kg, 2012;  Bronze: Okay. D. Jadhav, Bantamweight, 1952; Sushil Kumar, 66 kg, 2008; Yogeshwar Dutt, 60 kg 2012; Sakshi Malik, Ladies’s 58 kg, 2016)

Capturing: 4 (Gold: Abhinav Bindra, Males’s 10m Rifle, 2008; Silver: Rajyavardhan Rathore, Males’s Double Entice, 2004; Vijay Kumar, Males’s 25 Fast Hearth Pistol, 2012; Bronze: Gagan Narang, Males’s 10m Air Rifle, 2012)

Observe and Discipline: 2 (Silver: Norman Pritchard, 200 meters and 200 meters hurdles, 1900)

Badminton: 2 (Silver: PV Sindhu, Ladies’s Singles, 2016; Bronze: Saina Nehwal, Ladies’s Singles 2012)

Tennis: 1 (Bronze: Leander Paes, Males’s Singles, 1996)

Weightlifting: 1 (Bronze: Karnam Malleswari, Ladies’s 69kg, 2000)

Boxing: 2 (Bronze: Vijender Singh, Middleweight, 2008; Mary Kom, Ladies’s Flyweight, 2012)

I’ve additionally offered beneath a listing of aggressive rivals, in my view, however didn’t win a medal. They’re typically separated by inches, milliseconds, or the third locations of decimals and on a given day, they could have made it to the rostrum.  

Checklist of Particular person Athletes Who Have been Aggressive However Did Not Win a Medal

Observe and Discipline: Milkha Singh (4th in 400m, 1960); Gurbhachan Singh Randhawa (fifth in 110m Hurdles, 1964);  Sriram Singh (seventh  in 800m, 1976); Shivnath Singh (eleventh in Marathon, 1976); PT Usha (4th by one-hundredth of a second in Ladies’s 400m Hurdles in 1984);  Anju George (5th in Lengthy Bounce, 2000); Krishna Punia (6th in Ladies’s Discus Throw, 2012); Vikas Gowda (8th in Males’s Discus Throw,  2012); Lalitha Babbar (10th in Ladies’s 3000m Steeplechase, 2016).  

Ladies’ Gymnastics: Dipa Karmakar (4th in Vault, 2016)

Tennis: Sania Mirza (4th in Combined Doubles, 2016); 

Capturing: Abhinav Bindra (4th in Males’s 10m Rifle, 2016)

Notable close to misses — much-heralded fourth-place end by the lately deceased Milkha Singh in 400m in Rome, PT Usha lacking the bronze by one-hundredth of a second within the 1984 Olympics in Ladies’s 400m Hurdles, and Dipa Karmakar’s nearest of misses after touchdown the legendary Produnova Vaul — will eternally be etched the recollections of all Indian Olympic aficionados.

I don’t recall anybody in males’s or girls’s swimming making the grade, however I’m conscious of a number of wrestlers who got here near medals within the Sixties or Nineteen Seventies. 

As for crew sports activities, aside from our legendary run in Discipline Hockey, the one aggressive crew might have been the 1956 soccer crew which completed fourth; this was again when Olympic soccer was nonetheless strictly restricted to amateurs. 

Learn the second a part of this story! Different Indian Olympic candidates to look out for: Deepika Kumari and Bajrang Punia.


Partha Sircar has a BE in Civil Engineering from Bengal Engineering School in Shibpur, India, and a Ph.D. in Geotechnical Engineering from the College of California at Berkeley. He’s a 53-year resident of america, together with the final 36 years in California. He has labored in a number of engineering organizations over time and is now retired for over eight years. He loves to put in writing and will be reached by e-mail at psircar@yahoo.com.


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