Bindra, who won the coveted gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, thus far remains the only Indian to have won an individual gold at the Olympics, and he said that he was hoping to see more at the Tokyo Olympics, which have been postponed to next year due to coronavirus pandemic.
“I was certainly hoping that come July-August this year, I would not remain the only one. I think it is a matter of time before we win more gold (medals). A lot of young athletes are doing really well in different sports. I do hope that the athletes remain motivated, continue to train and remain focussed for the Games which will now be held in July 2021,” Bindra said on Sony Ten’s ‘The Medal of Glory’ show.
“What I would like to see in our country is more people playing sports just for the sheer joy of it and the health benefits that come with it. When that starts to happen, we will have more people in elite sport,” said the former rifle shooter.
The 37-year-old said that young athletes need to be given the right education and knowledge, which will aid them in their development apart from the right infrastructure.
“A strong grassroot programme (is not just) about giving young kids the requisite infrastructure but also the right knowledge. At that level, it is critical that the foundation of young kids is set really strong, and I think in the years to come, we will have more success and more involvement in sports. Sports is the next big thing coming out of this country,” he said.
Bindra said that interestingly the lowest point in his sporting career came after his greatest success.
“I have failed a lot of times in my life. But the most difficult moment in my sporting career was actually when I succeeded. When I won the gold medal at the Olympic Games, it was the biggest moment of my life but it also left a void where I didn’t know what do with myself,” he said.
“For me, looking back at my 21-year career in the sport, that period post Beijing was the most difficult time. Of course, there were failures and adversities but you accept that as a challenge and move ahead; but when this void suddenly hit me for a while, that was when I was at my lowest ebb.
“However, I overcame with the support of my family, coaches and with time. That is the most important thing, sometimes you feel hopeless but it is about being patient and persevering through it. And then, the sun starts shining again,” he added.