With Rio approaching here is a look back at India’s 26 Olympic medals wins so far


medal winner collage

India will be sending its strongest and largest team of athletes this time around to the Olympics in Rio 2016. With just over a 100 men and women heading to Brazil this August, India will feel fairly confident after winning a record six medals in the last outing at London 2012. With the hopes of over a billion resting on their shoulders, these athletes will look to give their best shot at this year’s grand event. As we approach the Olympics, let’s take a look at all of India’s Olympic medal winners from the years gone by.

Norman Pritchard was an Indian born British athlete who was the first from our nation to participate in the Olympics in France in 1900. He was also the first athlete from India and first athlete representing an Asian nation to win an Olympic medal. He won two silver medals 1900 in Paris, coming second in the 200 meters behind Walter Tewksbury of the United States and second also in the 200 meters hurdles behind the legendary Alvin Kraenzlein, also from the USA.

India first sent a team to the Summer Olympic Games in 1920. Hockey at the Olympics saw India rise as a dominant force for almost 25 years from 1928 to 1952, with the Indian Men’s National Hockey Team winning Gold medals in 1928-Amserdam, 1932- Los Angeles, 1936- Berlin, 1948- London and 1952- Helsinki.

Also in Helsinki, India clinched its first Wrestling medal when Khashaba Dadasaheb Jadhav became the second Indian after Pritchard to win a non team Olympic medal. Jadhav won a bronze in the Men’s Freestyle Bantamweight category.

The next six Olympic medals for India were all won by the Men’s National Hockey Team with a Gold in 1956- Melbourne, Silver in 1960 – Rome, Gold in 1964- Tokyo, Bronze in 1968- Mexico City and 1972 – Munich and a final Gold medal at the 1980 – Moscow Olympics.

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1996 – Atlanta saw Leander Paes give India its first Tennis Olympic medal with a Bronze after he beat Fernando Meligeni of Brazil 2 sets to 1 for the medal.

Karnam Malleswari managed to win a Bronze medal for India in the Women’s 69kg Weightlifting with an overall lift of 240kgs that placed her third in the category at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

2004 Athens was the year for India’s first ever Shooting medal at the events with Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore grabbing a Silver in Men’s Double Trap with a total score of 179.

Beijing 2008 was the first edition where India won multiple medals in a single Olympic event. Abhinav Bindra followed Rathore’s footsteps to win a Gold in Men’s 10m Air Rifle Shooting, Vijender Singh’s Bronze in Men’s 75kg Boxing was India’s second medal win in the event. Sushil Kumar’s Bronze in Men’s 66kg Freestyle Wrestling rounded up the event for India.

A total of six medals are what India achieved in the next event in London 2012.
Vijay Kumar grabbed a silver in Men’s 25 Rapid Fire Pistol Shooting followed by Sushil Kumar winning his second Olympic medal, a Silver this time around in the Men’s 66kg Freestyle Wrestling. India’s maiden Badminton Olympic medal went to Saina Nehwal who beat Wang Xin of China in women’s singles to win a Bronze. Mary Kom punched her way to a Bronze medal in Women’s Flyweight Boxing. Gagan Narang won another Shooting medal with a Bronze in the Men’s 10m Air Rifle event. Yogeshwar Dutt grabbed India’s last standing Olympic medal with a Bronze win over Ri Jong-myong in the Men’s 60kg Wrestling.