Biography

"I believe in an athlete’s life, winning is important, but, the journey is more meaningful. The constant pursuit toward overcoming one’s own limitations and always challenging the part of you that says you will not or cannot win. I am convinced that everybody has, at some time in their life, faced an equivalent. Something that feels insurmountable. My, perhaps unsolicited, advice is enjoy the ride. Let’s face it, roller coasters are far more thrilling than merry go rounds."
- Abhinav Bindra


IN 1996, a 13-year-old Abhinav Bindra watched the gifted Jaspal Rana take an aim at the ’96 Olympics in Atlanta. He then looked at his sister and declared, “one day I will win a medal”. In 2008, at the Beijing Olympics, Abhinav had his shot at history, and became the first India to ever win an individual Gold Medal in Olympics, since 1900, the year India participated in the Games for the first time. He is also the first Indian to bag the World Championship in Air Rifle Shooting in Zagreb, 2006. Success came to him early. At age 17, he competed in his first Olympic Games in Sydney (2000). At 15, he was member of the Indian Commonwealth Games Team, and before he turned 20, he broke the world record in shooting. At 25, he was an Olympic champion.

But Abhinav’s journey to become the first Indian to win an individual Olympic gold, and the first Indian to win a World Championship gold, is far more than that. It is a triumph born of a tragedy, one that struck him at the Athens Olympics in 2004. Defeated, he changed as a shooter: from a boy who loved shooting to an athlete bent on redemption, becoming a scientist who would try anything, including mapping his own brain, to win in Beijing.


“All my life shooting has been a struggle. A contest with the self. Every ten has been a battle, every performance has demanded that I look within for an answer. To win, one needs an internal rage, desperation, a hardness and eventually I became a shooter who relish a fight.”


Imperfection is not in his dictionary. Even if he had to shoot a ten, he had to shoot a better ten.


“Whatever your mind can conceive, your heart can believe, you can achieve.”

His unparalleled achievements in the shooting arena have brought laurels to the country right from his first win in 1995 at the Ropar district shooting championship. He received the Arjuna Award at the young age of 17 and has been the youngest recipient of the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Awards – the highest sporting honor in the country at 18 years. Abhinav has also been decorated with the Padma Bhushan, the third highest civilian honor, in 2009 after his historic Gold Medal win at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. In 2011, he along with cricketer MS Dhoni was conferred with the honorary rank of Lt Colonel by the Territorial Army. After cricketers Kapil Dev and Sachin Tendulkar, and Malayalam superstar Mohan Lal, Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and ace shooter Abhinav Bindra joined the armed forces, albeit in a honorary capacity. The then President Pratibha Patil approved granting the honorary rank of Lt-Colonel to Dhoni and Bindra in the Territorial Army (TA), the part-time citizen's force which functions as a `vital adjunct' to the regular Army.


A sporting legend, Abhinav is not a product of overnight success, but of extreme hardwork and unflinching dedication and discipline towards his sport. His quest for flawlessness saw him undertake neuro feedbacks, conquer his fear of heights by climbing 40 feet high pizza pole in Germany, take up speed running, rowing in Lake Chimsee in Germany, snow walking in the challenging Bavarian alps, dry firing in dark room, laying in a still meditative position in a Samadhi (state of deep concentration) tank, getting custom-made shooting jackets, replicating the floor, panel and lights of Beijing at his own shooting range, hiring a hall to get a feel of spatial awareness…Behind the highs were the lows too, that drove him to do better. Where in 1999 his rank slipped – 89 in Munich World Cup, 94 in Milan, 69 in Atlanta and a total letdown in Asian Championships in Malaysia in 2000, the world championship in Zagreb and Olympics catapulted him to stardom, and to a well-earned pedestal of respect and awe amongst his peers.


Abhinav’s sporting abilities also find their root in the family - his grandfather Bir Singh was an army officer and retired colonel who played hockey for the Services and along hockey legend Dhyan Chand. He zen like calm perhaps flows from his late grandmother Kartar Kaur who was heavily into spiritualism. His hero and role model has been his industrialist father Dr Apjit Singh Bindra while his mother, Babli Bindra and sister Divya, pillars of strength. In fact, Babli Bindra was part of Panjab University’s first women’s cricket team, was into softball, table tennis, basketball and hockey and was the fifth generation descendant of Hari Singh Nalwa, the commander in chief of Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s army.


Abhinav was the first of many thousands of relay runners who carried the baton for the New Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games, across the globe. The New Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games Queen’s Baton Relay commenced from Buckingham Palace on October 29 with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II passing the baton in the presence of former President of India, Pratibha Patil.


Bindra was also honored with the two top awards at the first ever Sahara Indian Sports Awards. He was adjudged as “The Sportsman of the Year”. His gold medal winning feat at the Beijing Olympics 2008 was declared as “the Most Memorable Moment of the Year” in Indian Sport.


Soon, the Government of India invited him to be a part of their initiatives towards national integration, etc. He was the first speaker at the event “A Nation In Solidarity”. This was hosted by the Ministry of Home Affairs at the behest of the then Home Minister P Chidambaram himself and was held in memory of the victims of terror attacks in India including incidents in Mumbai, Delhi, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, among others. The event was held at India Gate in New Delhi and was dedicated to the cause of the nation coming together in its fight against terror. He was also member of Central Selection Committee for the National Youth Awards 2008-09, constituted by the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports. This committee was chaired by the then Minister of Youth Affairs & Sports Dr M S Gill.


A visionary, Abhinav Bindra believes in being the change, in going for the gold. In his relentless pursuit for better sports in India, he started the Clean Sports campaign and the Abhinav Bindra Foundation. He is also working towards creating ‘Olympia’, an ambitious world-class housing project eight kilometres off Dehradun, on the Dehradun-Rishikesh highway.


Abhinav, along with leading Bollywood actors Ajay Devgn and Bipasha Basu joined hands with Animal Planet to generate nationwide interest on tigers and the threats affecting their survival.


He also collaborated with NDTV on their Marks for Sports campaign.


Ever since his historic win, Abhinav Bindra has been a strong advocate of healthy sports environment in the country and been delivering lectures and speeches at leading educational institutes of the country like the International School of Business, GoSports Foundation Athletes Conclave (2013), Young FICCI Ladies Organisation (YFLO) etc.


Major Achievements :
  • Won 2 Gold Medal and 1 Silver in the Tri Series Intershoot Shooting
    Championship held in The Hague, The Netherlands on 4th, 5th & 6th February.
    2016
  • Represented India in ISSF World Cup – Bangkok and scored 622.7. 2016
  • Won Gold Medal in the 8th Asian Air Gun Championship at New
    Delhi with a score of 627.9 +208.3. Also won the Gold in the Team event
    2015
  • Participated in world cup Rifle - Munich in may 2015 & scored 627.5 + 122.4
    and qualified for the Rio Olympic - 2016
    2015
  • Participated in Hannover Air Rifle grand prix and Won a Gold Medal in
    individual & team event
    2015
  • Participated in the world cup Rifle- Fort Benning USA in may 2015
    & scored 624.6
    2015
  • Participated in the world cup Changwon South Korea in April 2015
    and scored 619.8
    2015
  • Shot 632.1 in the qualifiers and 208.5 in the final to clinch the gold at the International Air Rifle Shooting Competition held in Munich Germany on 31st January 2015
  • Won gold medals in the Tri Series Inter Shoot shooting championship held
    at the Hague. Nethertands on 6th. 7th and 8th February
    2014
  • First Shooter to win three gold medals in three successive competitions
    in the Tri Series
    2014
  • Participated in World Cup Beijing. Slovenia, Munich 2014
  • Participated in the 20th Commonwealth Games held in Glasgow on 25th
    July and won an Individual gold medal with a new Commonwealth Games
    Record score of 622.2 + 205.3
    2014
  • Participated in the XVII Asian Games and won Individual and Team bronze
    medals
    2014
  • Participated in the 12th Asian Championship, Doha, on 13.1.2012 and won
    Gold Medal with a score of 597 + 104.1
    2012
  • Participated in the World Cup, London on 21.4.2012 with a score of 596 2012
  • Participated in the World Cup, Milan and Munich in the month of May 2012
    and scored 592 and 596 respectively
    2012
  • Spearheaded the Indian contingent for London Olympics scoring 594
    in 10M Air Rifle final by 2 points.
    2012
  • Won the National Championship held In Pune In November with a score
    of 596 + 104.2
    2011
  • Participated In RIAC and IBIS Cup in December and won two silver medals
    and one bronze medal
    2011
  • Won Gold Medal in Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh Punjab Games
    (February 28 - March 6) with a score of 598
    2011
  • Participated in the World Cup, Munich Germany in June and won a quota
    position for London 2012 Olympics with a score of 596 + 52.6
    2011
  • Participated in the Asian Shooting championship, Kuwait in October and won
    Silver medal with a score of 594+103.6
    2011
  • Represented India in the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi in October
    and won a Gold Medal in Air Rifle 10M in Team event and a Silver medal in single
    2010
  • Represented India for RIAC 2010 Luxembourg and scored 5962010
  • Participated in the Intershoot Championship in Hague, Netherlands:
    Won a silver medal in the 1st match with scores of 595+102.7
    Won a gold medal in the 2nd match with scores of 596+104.1
    Won a gold medal in the 3rd match with scores of 595+102.7
    2010
  • Won the gold medal at the Beijing Olympics with an Olympic Final Record
    score of 700.5
    2008
  • Won the gold medal at the Air Rifle Australian Cup, Sydney2007
  • Won the gold medal at the Air Rifle Asian Shooting Championship2007
  • Became the World Champion at the Air Rifle World Championship Zagreb
    (First Indian to win a gold Medal)
    2006
  • Won gold,silver,bronze medals at the Commonwealth Games,Melbourne,
    Australia
    2006
  • Won the gold medal at the Asian Shooting Championship Bangkok,Thailand 2005
  • At the Athens Olympics he broke the Olympic that was set at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics2004
  • Became the Commonwealth Games Record Holder 2004
  • Won the gold medal at the All American Shooting Championship at Colorado Springs,USA2004
  • Won the bronze medal at the World Cup held World Cup in Munich,Germany2003
  • Won the silver medal at the Asian Shooting Championship2003
  • Won gold and silver medals at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester 2002
  • Became the European Circuit Champion with 7 Gold medals, 4 Silver medals, 1 bronze medal 2002
  • Set a new Junior World Record for Air Rifle in Munich,Germany2001
Key Awards :
  • Honorary Lt. Col of the Indian Army (TA) 2011
  • Padma Bhushan 3rd highest Indian Civilian Award 2009
  • Punjabi Rattan Award 2009
  • CNN IBN Sportsman of the Year Award 2009
  • NDTV Sportsman of the Year Award 2009
  • Rotary Shreyas Award 2009
  • Bharat Shiromani Award 2009
  • India Youth Icon Award 2009
  • GQ Men of the Year Award 2009
  • Teacher’s Achievement Award 2008
  • Arjuna Award 2000
  • Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award 2001
  • Maharaj Ranjit Singh Award 2001
  • K.K. Birla Award 2002
  • Madhya Pradesh Khel Ratna 2008
  • UT Government Most Elite Sportsman Award 2002
  • Uttaranchal Praman Patra Award 2003
  • Punjab Praman Patra Award 2006
  • NDTV-Indian Sportsman of 2008
Special Recognition :
  • Nominated by the ISSF to participate in the 7th IOC International Athletes forum, Lausanne Switzerland

  • Elected as Chairman of the International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) Athletes Committee and is also a member of the Administrative Council of the ISSF

  • Nominated to the Sports Apex Committee by the Ministry of Sports. Government of India, to select talent for 2020 Olympics

  • Selected by the Government of India, National Parliament Cabinet Committee as a member of Draft Committee for Drafting Sports Bill of India

  • Selected as India’s only delegate athlete member for attending International Olympic Committee meeting at Lausanne on IOA saga along with Sports Minister, Government of India.

  • Elected by ISSF as Member of Athletes committee representing Asia.

  • Nominated by IOC to be Representative of entire shooting World Body ISSF Athletes Forum in Singapore.

  • Selected by Punjab Government as its Disaster Management Ambassador 2013.

  • Selected by Indian Olympic Committee – Lausanne to be featured in their Olympic Hall of Fame and Museum with his Gold Medal Winning Rifle and Shooting Gear.

  • Lead the Indian contingent of 682 Athletes as country’s Flag bearer for XIV Commonwealth Games, Delhi on 14 October 2010.

  • First Indian Sportsman in India's history to receive the Commonwealth Games Queen's Baton. He received the Baton from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on 29th October, 2009 in Buckingham Palace, London. He became the first Indian Athlete to take the oath on behalf of the all the athletes competing in the Commonwealth when he took the oath for all those participating in the XIV Commonwealth Games in Delhi 2010.

  • Appreciation on Record by Dr Abdul Kalam, Hon’ble President of India.

  • Appreciation on Record by Smt Pratibha Devi Singh Patil, Hon’ble President of India on winning the first Olympic Gold Medal for India on 11 August, 2008.

  • Appreciation on Record by Dr Manmohan Singh, Hon’ble Prime Minister of India on winning the first Olympic Gold Medal for India on 11 August, 2008.

  • Appreciation on Record by Shri Mohammad Ansari, Hon’ble Vice President of India on winning the first Olympic Gold Medal for India on 11 August, 2008.

  • Appreciation on Record by Chief Ministers of Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal, West Bengal, Assam, Sikkim, Nagaland, Himachal Pradesh and Karnataka for winning the first ever individual Gold Medal for India in the Beijing Olympics 2008.

  • Appreciation on Record by Hon’ble Speaker, Lok Sabha National Parliamentarian Mr Shom Nath Chatterjee and the members of the august house for becoming the first Indian to win a Gold in World Championship Croatia 2006.

  • Appreciation on Record by the Hon’ble Chariman Rajya Sabha and the members of the House.

  • Appreciation on Record by His Majesty, King of Bhutan.

  • Specially invited by the US Government through U.S. Embassy, to Fly F-16 Air craft on 19th February 2009.

  • Appreciation on record by Mr. Mani Shankar Aiyar, Hon’ble Union Minister of Sports, Government of India.

  • Appreciation on record by Dr. M.S. Gill, Hon’ble Union Minister of Sports

  • Appreciation on record by Mr. Scriber, Hon’ble Secretay General, International Shooting Sports Federation, Munich, Germany.

  • Selected to speak at the 2009 India Today Conclave, New Delhi.

Scholarship :
  • Recipient of International Olympic Solidarity Scholarship 2007 - 2008
  • Recipient of International Olympic Solidarity Scholarship 2003 - 2004
  • Recipient of Sahara Sports Scholarship 2004, 2006
  • Recipient of Mittal Champions Trust Scholarship 2006
  • Appreciation by Director-American Olympic Training Centre, Colorado Springs USA
  • Recipient of Scholarship-Samsung Qlympic Hopes 2007 & 2011
  • Recipient of International Olympic Council Scholarship 2010-2012
Featured In :
  • Readers Digest (Who do India Trust 2010): Ranked 25th out of 100 India’s most trusted personalities in 2009.

  • Limca Book of Records.

  • World Records Holder Book.

  • World Shooting Champions Roll of Honour.

  • 50, 000 Newspaper clippings & reports in all major magazines.

  • Featured on NDTV, Times Now, CNN, IBN, BBC, Zee TV, CNBC, German TV, US TV, Aaj Tak and many more.

Education :
  • Bachelors in Business Management from the University of Colorado USA
  • Diploma in Sports Mental Management from Munich and the Lanny School of Mental Management, USA
  • Received Honorary Doctorate in Literature from SRM University, Chennai on 8th September 2008
Author :
  • Authored ‘A Shot at History – My Obsessive Journey to Olympic Gold’ which was launched by Mr. Ajay Maken, Union Minister of Sports, Government of India.

  • Co-authored "Ways of Rifle" with Mr. Heinz Reinkemier of Germany.

Business :
  • Director, Abhinav Futuristics Limited
  • Director, Abhinav Hotels & Inns Pvt Limited
  • Director ABS Performance & Management Co. Pvt. Ltd
  • Founder, Abhinav Bindra Foundation Trust
  • Founder, Abhinav Sporting Trust
  • Founder, PizzaVito Asia Pvt Ltd
  • Founder, PizzaVito India Pvt Ltd
Oration – Speech Delivery :
  • Featured in India's GREATEST SPEECHES compiled by Nitin Aggarwal for the s peech given at Go Sports Foundation Conclave on July 17- 2013.

  • ICICI Bank senior officials meet in Trivandrum April 2015 speech to Corporates on Motivation.

  • Asian Education Summit - April - 2015.

  • PGI Sports complex Chandigarh- December - 2014.

  • GoSport Foundation Athletes Conclave, Bangalore - 17th July 2013.

  • School Founder’s Day at Yadavindra Public School, Mohali - April 2013.

  • Annual Day at Kundan Vidya Mandir School Ludhiana - April 2013.

  • Inauguration of PizzaVito Store in Gurgaon - March 2013.

  • 150th Anniversary of Swami Vivekanandm, Delhi - January 2013.

  • Indian School of Business, Mohali, inauguration of ISB ISL, September 2012.

  • Annual Sports Meet of the Seth Anandram Jaipuria School - February 2011.

  • Rotary Club - February 2009.

  • Inauguration of Yeshwantrao Chavan Sports Complex - February 2009.

  • All India Forest & Environment Games Chandigarh - November 2008.

  • Annual Graduation Ceremony of NSNIS Bangalore.

  • Annual Day at Riverdale School Dehradun.

  • India Today Youth Conclave 2011.

  • India Today Conclave - February 2009.

  • Inaugurated the Shooting Range at Manav Rachna International University.

  • Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) - November 2008.

  • Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur.

  • Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkie.

  • Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi.

  • Motivational Speaker at ICICI Bank Officials meet.

  • Holy Heart School, Amritsar.

  • Motivational Speaker at CISCO systems India Pvt. Ltd.

Areas Covered in the Speeches:
  • Indian youth – Change seekers of change makers?

  • My Olympic Journey

  • Stay Focussed, Stay Grounded through Failure and Success

  • Role of Media in Sports Promotion

  • Enabling Inclusivity.

  • Is India ready to push the envelope in education?

  • Challenge yourself – Make a Difference.

  • Challenge Convention, Transform Tomorrow.

  • Leadership and Technology.

  • Fast track to success.

  • Aiming For the Bull's eye in a Digital World.

Contact Details:

Bindra Farms,
Village Kishanpura
Chhatbir, District Mohali
Punjab
Residence: 91 1762 287317
Mobile: 91 99157 46705
Office Secretariat: 91 172 2665646
Fax: 91 172 2647940
Personal: lg12931@gmail.com
Official: olympicchampion08@gmail.com



Short Q&A with Abhinav Bindra on being part of Animal Planet’s Where Tigers Rule initiative towards tiger conservation.


Q: How do you think this initiative of Animal Planet can help in taking the message across to common public?


A: With Animal Planet's wildlife experts, conservationists and presenters leading the way, viewers will embark on a journey of exploration and information as they learn about these amazing animals and their ever-increasing endangerment. Habitat loss and poaching threaten to destroy tiger population throughout the world. With only a few thousand tigers left in the wild, many experts worry about the survival of these majestic creatures. If we do nothing, the tiger will be wiped off the face of the Earth. It is sad that our future generations will grow up in a world with no wild tigers. It is essential that things must change.


Q: What message would you like to convey through this association?


A: Tiger conservation is a collective responsibility. I am excited to support Animal Planet in reaching out to millions of viewers to highlight issues concerning the plight of tigers and how their existence or extinction impacts our environment.


Q: Why there has been so much importance given to tiger when there are so many other species having same fate?


A: The tiger is the largest cat in the world. It’s one of the most magnificent species to ever walk the face of our Earth. To even think that it could be lost from this Earth in our lifetime or shortly after, to me, is just an unthinkable thought.


Q: Have you been associated with any such initiatives in the past?


A: I am delighted to make a beginning with the Animal Planet.


Q: Have you ever experienced the pleasure of seeing a tiger in the wild? Please share with us the experience.


A: I had the chance to see tigers on an African Safari. I was mesmerized by its reverent personality and most powerful eyes, which attract you.