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 :
  • 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
  • Participated in the National cHampionship held in Pune in November, 2011 and won Gold Medal with a score of 508 + 104.2 and became National Champion2011
  • Participated in RIAC and IBIS Cup in December, 2011 with a score of 596, 597
    and 596 and won two silver medals and one Bronze medal.
    2011
  • Won Gold Medal in Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh Punjab Games February 28-March6 with a score of 5982011
  • Participated in the World Cup, Munich in June with a score of 596+52.6 and got a quota position for London Olympics 20122011
  • Participated in the Asian Shooting championship, Kuwait in October and won
    Silver medal with a score of 594+103.6
    2011
  • Represented India for Commonwealth Games in New Delhi in October and won Gold Medal Rifle 10M in Team event and Silver medal in single2010
  • Represented India for RIAC 2010 Luxembourg and scored 5962010
  • Participated in Intershoot Championship in Hague, Netherlands and scored:
    Match 1 Silver Medal 595+102.7
    Match 2 Gold Medal 596+104.1
    Match 3 Gold Medal 595+102.7
    2010
  • Beijing Olympic Gold Medalist 700.5 with a Olympic Final Record2008
  • Gold Medalist Air Rifle Australian Cup, Sydney2007
  • Asian Shooting Gold Medalist Air Rifle Asian Shooting Championship2007
  • World Champion Air Rifle World Championship Zagreb (First Indian to win Gold Medal)2006
  • Commonwealth Games, Melbourne Gold, Silver, Bronze Medalist 2006
  • Asian Shooting Championship Bangkok Gold Medalist 2005
  • Broke the Olympic Record of 96 Atlanta Olympics at Athens Olympics 2004
  • Commonwealth Games Record Holder 2004
  • Athens Olympics (Finalist)2004
  • All American Shooting Championship at Colorado Springs Gold Medalist2004
  • Bronze Medalist World Cup Munich 2003
  • Asian Shooting Championship Silver Medalist2003
  • Commonwealth Games Manchester – Gold, Silver Medalist 2002
  • European Circuit Champion – 7 Gold medals, 4 Silver, 1 Bronze 2002
  • National Champion 1999 – 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2012 2002
  • Junior World Record Holder Air Rifle in Munich 2001
  • Represented India in 54 World Cups, 4 Commonwealth Games, 2 All American Shooting Championship 2001

4 Olympics, 3 Asian Games, 10 European Circuit Championship
Represented India in Sydney Olympics as youngest shooter in the world at the age of 17

Key Awards :
  • Honorary Lt Col of the Indian Army (TA) 2011
  • Padma Bhushan (Third Highest 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
  • Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award 2001
  • Arjuna Award 2000
  • Maharaj Ranjit Singh Award 2001
  • KK 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 India Sportsman of 2008
Special Recognition :
  • Selected by the Government of India, National Parliament Cabinet Committee as 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 Flagbearer for XIV Commonwealth Games Delhi 14, October 2010.

  • First Indian Sportsman in India’s history to receive the Commonwealth Games Queen’s Baton from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on 29th October 2009 in Buckingham Palace, London and the first Indian Athlete to take the oath on behalf of the entire Commonwealth Nations Athletes participating in XIV Commonwealth Games in Delhi 2010.

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

  • Appreciation of 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 Minister of Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal, West Bengal, Assam, Sikkim, Nagaland, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka for winning the firs ever individual Gold Medal for India in Olympics.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • As appreciation by the US Government through US Embassy, a special invite to Fly F 16 Aircraft on February 19, 2009.

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

  • Appreciation on record by Dr MS Gill, Hon’ble Union Minister of Sports, Government of India.

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

  • Selected Speaker at 2009 India Today Conclave, New Delhi.

Scholarship :
  • Recipient of International Olympic Solidarity Scholarship 2007-08
  • Recipient of International Olympic Solidarity Scholarship 2003-04
  • Recipient of Sahara Sports Scholarship 2004
  • Recipient of Scholarship Mittal Championships trust 2006
  • Appreciation by Director American Olympic Training Central, Colorado Springs
Featured In :
  • Readers Digest (Who do India Trust 2010). Ranked 25th out of 100 India’s most trusted personalities 2009.

  • Limca Book of Records.

  • World Records Holder Book.

  • World Shooting Champions Roll of Honour.

  • Recipient of Scholarship-Mittal Champions trust 2006.

  • Recipient of Scholarship Samsung Olympic Hopes 2007-11.

  • Recipient of International Olympic Council Scholarship 2010-12.

  • 50,000 newspaper clippings, reporting in all major magazines.

  • NDTV, Times Now, CNNIBN, BBC, Zee Tv, CNBC, German Tv, US Tv, Aaj Tak, an many more.

  • 29,700 internet sites.

Education :
  • Bachelors in Business Management from University of Colorado
  • Diploma in Sports Mental Management from Munich and Lanny School of Mental Management, USA
  • Conferred Honorary Doctorate in Literature from SRM University, Chennai on September 8, 2008
Author :
  • Authored ‘A Shot at History – My Obsessive Journey to Olympic Gold’ launched on 27/10/2011. Mr Ajay Maken, Union Minister of Sports, Government of India.

  • Ways of Rifle, co authored with Mr Heinz Reinkemier.

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 :
  • Go Sport Foundation Athletes Conclave, Bangalore on 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.

  • Manav Rachna International Unversity for Inaugurating their Shooting Range.

  • 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.

Speech Topics Delivered :
  • 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.

Contact Details :

Bindra Farms,
Village Kishanpura
Chhatbir District
Patiala, Punjab
Phone: 0091 1762 287317 (R)
0091 172 2665646 (O)
Fax: 91 01762 286591, 91 172 27647940
Official Email: 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.