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India at the Olympic Games

India has been an active participator of Olympic Games. The country doesn't have very much to boast about regarding performance, though that will likely change in future.

Though India has the second place in terms of population in the world, it hasn't been able to become a powerhouse in the sports arena, especially Olympics. India has only earned 26 medals in the history of the games, including 9 gold, 6 silver and 11 bronze.

India sent an official contingent to Olympics for the first time in 1920 games. But the first time an Indian representative competed in Olympics was in the 1900 Paris Olympics. It was the British born sprinter Norman Pritchard. He won a sliver each in 200 m sprint and 200 m hurdles. He was also the first person from an Asian country to win Olympic medals.

The first Indian gold medal was won in 1928 games by the Mens' Hockey.

The Indian men have won Hockey gold a total of 8 times. They emerged victorious in 1932 (Los Angeles), 1936 (Berlin), 1948 (London), 1952 (Helsinki) and 1956 (Melbourne). In 1960 Rome olympics India had to satisfy with a silver. Though in the next edition at Tokyo, they won a gold again. The last Hockey gold was in 1980 Moscow games. Now India is struggling to even qualify for the games.

The first individual Olympic medalist from the independent India was KD Yadav. Nicknamed Pocket Dynamo, he won a Bronze medal in Wrestling in 1952 Helsinki Olympics. His feat was in Freestyle Bantomweight category.

India took more than four decades to win another individual medal in Olympics. The second person to win the medal was Tennis superstar Leander Paes. He won a Bronze in the 1996 Atlanta games in Mens' Singles. The first Indian woman Olympic medalist is Karnam Malleswari. Her feat came in the 2000 Sidney Olympics in 69 kg category. She won a Bronze in Weight Lifting.

The first individual Olympics Silver medalist from independent India was Rajyavardhan Singh Rathod. In the Athens Olympics of 2004, he won the silver in Double Trap category in Shooting.

The 2008 Olympics in China witnessed India winning three medals for the first time. Abhinav Bhindra became the first Indian to win an individual gold medal in the history. He won the medal in 10 m Air Pistol category of Shooting. Boxer Vijendar Kumar and wrestler Sushil Kumar won a Bronze each for the country. India finished 50th in the medal tally.

India's most prolific run in Olympics came in the 2012 London games. The Indian athletes won 6 medals, including 2 silver and 4 bronze. Sushil Kumar became the first Indian with multiple individual Olympic medals since Norman Pritchard, winning a Silver here. Shooter Vijay Kumar won the other Silver. Mary Kom (Boxing), Saina Nehwal (Badminton), Yogeswar Dutt (Wrestling) and Gagan Narang (Shooting) were the Bronze winners. However, they were not able to win a gold, and India had to finish 55th on the table.


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