Abhinav Bindra, the boy who took to shooting as a sport with -4 (minus four) power in both eyes, is still India’s finest shooter. He, with his hard work, proved that nothing is impossible when you are ambitious enough to stay focused on your goal.
In 1998, a 14-year-old Bindra became the youngest participant at the Commonwealth Games.
Bindra has come a long way since. He has been awarded several prestigious awards that include the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna in 2001. Apart from this, he has been honoured with Arjuna Award (in 2000), the Padma Bhushan Award (in 2009) and is also an Honorary Lieutenant Colonel of the Territorial Indian Army.
In 2008, Bindra became the first Indian to win an individual Gold medal at the Olympic Games in the 10m Air Rifle event at the Beijing two years after becoming the first Indian shooter to win a Gold in the World Championship in Zagreb.
Bindra has been climbing the ladder of success unconquered but there was a time when his career was about to end.
Bindra experienced a career-threatening spinal injury caused due to ligament over-stretching in the lumbodorsal region in 2006. The nagging back injury threatened to put a full-stop to his career as he was down and out for months. His spine was under strain and he was advised complete rest at that time. It was a depressing time for Bindra but he took it sportingly. A thorough rehabilitation programme helped him to reduce the strain on his spine. Some technical changes were also made and a better posture was suggested to put less strain on his spine.
Bindra stood strong against the harsh times and came back as a winner! His story definitely is inspiring for many of us.