Rio Olympics ended on a good note with India bagging two precious medals and many unforgettable moments. P.V. Sindhu’s victory of silver, Sakshi Malik grabbing the first medal of India and Dipa Karmakar’s feat in Gymnastics has made the nation proud. Their struggle in Olympics has definitely paid off. Sometimes when I read about their journey to victory, I wonder how a person can start at five or six years of age. The hard work they do is really beyond our imagination. These girls’ have made many realize what women can do. They are truly an inspiration for all the young girls. We take pride in saying that you are the heroines of the nation. Thank you for making the nation proud!
There have been many such athletes who can be called as the legends of Olympics. Let’s look at few known and unknown athletes who made a remarkable history in Olympics:
Dhyan Chand – 1928, 1932 and 1936
He was an extraordinary field hockey player and is known for his unbeatable goal-scoring. He has scored more than 400 goals and also won Olympic gold medals in the year 1928, 1932 and 1936. He was awarded with Padma Bhushan in 1956. Many statues and a national stadium have been built in his memory. There is also a Dhyan Chand Award named after him, which is India’s highest award for lifetime achievement in sports.
Khashaba Jadhav – 1952
He is the first Indian to have won an individual medal at Olympics. Coming from a family of wrestlers he started as a local wrestler and reached the peak by winning bronze medal in 1952.
Milkha Singh – 1960
Who doesn’t know him? We cannot forget this track and field athlete popularly known as the ‘Flying Sikh’. He battled in 1960 Olympics but missed the bronze medal by just 0.1 seconds. However, he broke the 400m Olympic record in the same race. He also won Gold medals in the year 1958 and 1962 Asian Games.
P.T.Usha – 1984
Another track and field player, she also missed the bronze just by one-hundredth of a second, reminiscent of Milkha Singh’s defeat in 1960. She is also known as ‘Payyoli Express’. She has won many gold medals at Asian Games in 1985.
Leander Peas – 1996
Another well-known and popular name! He is one of the best doubles and mixed doubles player in Tennis. He was the sole athlete who won in 1996. He grabbed bronze medal at Olympics in that year. He also won French open and Wimbledon in doubles with his tennis partner Mahesh Bhupathi.
Karnam Malleswari – 2000
Malleshwari created history in Sydney Olympics 2000 by winning a bronze in 69kg category of weight-lifting championship. She also attempted upto 105kgs and 110kgs later on whereas, many opted for 100 kgs. She was India’s first female bronze medalist in weight-lifting.
Abhinav Bindra – 2008
He won a gold medal for 10m Air Rifle event at 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. It was also India’s first gold medal after the 1980 medal won by the Men’s Field Hockey Team. He has 7 medals in commonwealth games out of which 4 were gold.
Sushil Kumar – 2008 and 2012
He achieved victory twice in the Olympics Games, winning bronze in 2008 and silver in 2012 for freestyle wrestling. He battled for the 66kg weight competition in both the years.
Mary Kom – 2012
It was a golden come back for the five time world champion Mary Kom in the year 2012. She brought home a bronze medal in boxing. She is a mother of three and an inspiration for many women. Inspired by her feats and struggles a biopic was released in the year 2014 titled ‘Mary Kom’.
Saina Nehwal – 2012
Nehwal has achieved many victories in badminton. She has got over 15 medals in all. In 2012 London Olympics she won a Bronze medal in Women’s singles. She has also been ranked as number one player in the year 2015 and is currently on the 9th position in the world.