Abhinav Bindra's Road to Beijing

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Thursday, August 28, 2008

the time is NOW....

Thursday, August 28, 2008 – 8:49 PM
sorry again for the sporadic posts but have been really busy. so i am the guest editor for the Times of India today and i have really laid out some of the problems that plague indian sport... the point is that i don't want to sound like this griping old man but truly believe that we NEED TO CHANGE NOW!!!!!
The point is that only us sports lovers and people who really care for the country can make this happen so am open to all my readers offering various solutions and how we can proceed forward. we need to do this together and is something that will make this country a better place not only for sportsmen but everyone. So lets all put our heads together and really figure out how we can make this happen.
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Monday, August 25, 2008

Monday, August 25, 2008

The show is over!!

Monday, August 25, 2008 – 7:45 AM
The show is over!! the closing ceremony was magnificent and i enjoyed watching it on tv. It was amazing to see all the athletes so relaxed and enjoying themselves. Performing at the top level always isnt really fun!! there is so much pressure to perform, expectations to live upto , facing your fears and doubts and yet one has to find a way out!! 
Now the big question for most athletes is what next!! The Olympics are every four years , but for the athlete its everyday!! Many would go back to training and start to persue their dreams.  Its amazing - no body will talk about beijing now - all the focus will be on London.
I really hope everybody in India enjoyed watching the games.  Just one message for all today and that is TO ADOPT OLYMPIC SPORTS AS A WAY OF THINKING AND SUPPORT YOUR FUTURE ACHIEVERS WITH ALL YOUR GOOD WISHES!!
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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Saturday, August 23, 2008

A few answers....

Saturday, August 23, 2008 – 6:34 AM
i would like to respond today to a few of the questions in my comments(i do read this section :)) and i know that will not be able to respond to each and every comment and so i apologize for that. Firstly i would like to say how overwhelmed i am that i have so many well wishers and supporters who are just as happy and proud of the gold medal as i am. I never expected such a turn out and i am really touched by such a huge and gracious turn out.
Which leads me to my next point... in my last posting i had posted the question of "what next?" and there have been lots of comments on that and i would like to dedicate an entire post on that in the coming days. However i would like to say that i want to use this time now when people are willing to listen to my opinion for the greater good of indian sport and actually go out there and make a difference.
I think it is important that we do this in a team effort where the more the merrier and only when we all join hands can there be a change for the better in the Indian system. So i am in the process of starting off with a shooting plan and i will also write more about this once it is finalized.
the truth is that everyone can do something to help indian sport... it doesn't have to be monitory and even someones support behind an athlete gives a big and much needed boost. So if we all do our bit, even the smallest gesture makes a big difference in the long and winding journey to the top.
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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Thursday, August 21, 2008

life goes on....

Thursday, August 21, 2008 – 7:19 AM
well life is really returning back to normal and i am now faced with a dilemma as to "what next?"
of course there are lots of options, but i would like to do something with purpose and something that i am passionate about....
i never realized how long 24 hours actually were and now i am trying to fill time although i am still tired and still need some rest things really coming back to normal. My interviews are now trickling (which i am happy about) and i now get to sit back and watch the nation's other two stars in action :)
So something i have been talking about for some time now is how i would like to give back to not only shooting but also to the whole Indian sport movement. I would like to offer my help to all who seek it and also like to be available to other shooters so that i can share my experiences with them. 
I am working now on a structure which i can be directly involved with the development of other shooters and actually try and groom people for the future. i will write more details on that when i have finalized the plan and things are a bit more concrete.
i will use another post to comment on all the people who have left me some very insightful remarks but for the usual comment about how India underperforms... it is very simple...we don't have any sport structure whatsoever... so the fact that we are even winning a couple of medals is phenomenal... it is time we all join hands and try and change this acceptance of mediocrity... i think we should all be positive and actually offer solutions since it is pretty obvious we all know the problems. 
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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

lets spread the love!!!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008 – 7:07 AM
firstly i have to apologize for being MIA for the past few days i had some trouble with the internet connection in my house and so have been cut off...
well it has been relaxing but i have got back on just in time for a historic moment in indian sport and i am from the bottom of my heart CONGRATULATING both Sushil, Vijender for the medals they have secured. Vijender is still in the hunt for gold and i am hoping that he can do it... I always said we would win more and am thrilled now that we have more champions to rejoice about and actually i can be part of the celebration. 
I can also give them some tips on how to do some interviews since that is all i have been doing since i have returned and now am happy that the attention will be given where it is now due. 
On a personal note i am actually enjoying catching up on some much needed slumber it is a welcome treat after years of waking up at 6am and heading out to train.
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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Saturday, August 16, 2008

First day home....

Saturday, August 16, 2008 – 7:09 PM
Finally got home yesterday cocooned in Z-plus security. There is supposed to be a threat to my safety. As to why anyone would be interested in killing a shooter who has spent the last 12 years of his life shooting and successfully hitting a 0.5mm bulls eye from 10m away escapes me. Possibly I could just invite these fellows over for a shooting match... be it with a bb gun ;)
So I got over the fact that I have Z-plus and was actually thrilled to be home since its been more than 6 weeks. I was itching to play with my close buddies chotu and buddy. The fellas have really grown and did seem unusually excited to meet me at first. But soon enough they were back to doing doggy things with their usual disregard for my commands. Looks like the medallion around my neck does not have them too enthralled.
Since I now seem to be able to throw my weight (all 60 kilos of it) around, I tried it with the fur-balls assuming they would be far more obedient after my Olympics gold. Hey! I even tried waving that medal in front of their noses and they for one second thought it was some kind of treat but after sniffing at it were absolutely disinterested.
It was a bit of a relief to be honest -- somethings don't and should not change.
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Friday, August 15, 2008

Friday, August 15, 2008

One More to go......

Friday, August 15, 2008 – 7:02 PM
So independence day was all the more vibrant as akhil kumar made us all proud.... I was really excited especially since he was another athlete who was down with a career threatening injury and so his resurrection is all the more impressive.
As i have said so many times before ALL our athletes are there giving their hearts out and some win and some lose but that doesn't belittle their effort in any way.
So now i am again praying for some more boxing success today with Jitender Kumar and Vijender fighting also for places in the quarters. Then on Monday spend the day on the edge of my seat waiting for my compatriots to bring home the hardware.
Wow how life has changed, just a week ago i was this guy walking around the village with few people even knowing what i was doing. I was often sitting around my room and actually getting bored, and now i am spending my time hoping i can go back to being that same guy.
Anyway I am now turning my focus and positive vibes to the pugilists.... COME ON INDIA!!!!
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COME ON BOYS!

– 4:00 AM
I have just finished two grueling days of meeting everyone i possibly could and i now am actually feeling that i can relax a little and actually watch the rest of the people. I know it is independence day and i am hoping we can keep the campaign for a few more medals going.
I am going to spend the today rooting on Gagan, Sanjeev, Mahesh, Leander, Akhil and if i have forgotten someone i apologize but will be cheering for all our people.
I hope we get through with positive results but am sure that the days forward we will have another one of our great athletes to celebrate about and i am looking forward to that.
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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Thursday, August 14, 2008

In search for some normalcy.....

Thursday, August 14, 2008 – 6:39 PM
I won the gold and my world has exploded. I like to keep to my self with my familiar comforts. While the attention is flattering, at the same time there is this constant glare of scrutiny which I can really do without. I am so looking forward to being home in my familiar comfort zone. I have flirted with the idea of donning a disguise and running away for a month till the euphoria passes and life gets to normal. Unfortunately that’s not an option just as of now. But hey, it’s a fun fantasy.
I am happy to know that air guns are running off the shelves across India. From the many will come the few who can be groomed to go all the way. However, I would like to caution all potential shooters out there that firearms are not toys. Prudence is essential in their use. Please be careful not to cause hurt to any living creature.
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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

the end to my Olympics....

Wednesday, August 13, 2008 – 9:20 AM
So it is now over and the time for me to return home has arrived. I know my life is not goign to be even close to the same upon return but it is something i am going to have to embrace and actually enjoy which i am at this moment finding way more daunting than shooting...
The truth is i am scared because it is not somethign i am familiar it but i would like to take this opportunity to thank all my fans and all my well wishers who have rooted for me and all those who have left such kind comments on the blog page as well.
i have finished reading all the comments but i am hoping to catch up once i am home and the media hype dies down.
I also want to wish the other participating the best of luck...although i am not going to be around seeing them at the village i will be definitely rooting for them from back home. I am hoping we cna come back with some more medals because we have all worked so hard and really deserve some more.
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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Monkey off my back!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008 – 5:32 PM
More than the joy, elation, euphoria my strongest feeling is a release from a thousand kilo weight that has been daunting me for the last 12 years.
I am really really happy that i could deliver for my country and all the indian athletes who are trying and working just as hard as me.
I have a strong feeling that we are going to win more medals at these games and it is going to be great to be able to watch my compatriots without any thoughts like my training and event off my mind.
I really hope this is the beginning of a journey of many more medals for India and glory for our great country and its people.
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Monday, August 11, 2008

Monday, August 11, 2008

The day after!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, August 11, 2008 – 7:42 PM

They have all been telling me what a huge achievement winning Gold is. I realise that but frankly the enormity of the goodwill generated has caught me by surprise. Honestly enough it really has not changed me, I am still the same Abhinav who just a day ago was hanging around alone in my room in the Olympic village. Frankly, all the attention is a bit overwhelming. I am not much good at making loud public pronouncements. That in no way means that this is not the most intense experience of my life.
For more than a decade now my life has been all about my sport. In fact, I do not have a life beyond the confines of the 10m range. I have had a range built in my own home to cut down any possibility of distraction and to be able to practise my sport whenever the fancy strikes me. It all did pay off, didn't it?
It has all still not sunk in. I will post more once the feeling settles.
I ran away from all the media and official attention yesterday after I had done the bit I had do in keeping with my new-found status. Instead I chose to go to a quiet dinner with some friends.
I would like to reiterate that everyone who represents India at the Olympic Games has put in years of toil and sweat. I ask the Indian people to support our athletes more. It is fine to celebrate our achievements but it is just as important to keep up the backing when we are not on top of our game.
It is important for India to do better at Olympic sport as these are the true measure of a nation's sporting depth. I wish more private initiatives come up with corporate support apart from the backing of the government. The joy that the nation feels at my win is humbling. I just wish that this is repeated more and more often.
With our depth of talent and expanse of people I firmly believe India can be a world-class sporting power. What we need are precise systems. I will try to do my bit at grooming the next generation. I would like to appeal to each Indian to also do their bit in prodding us out of sporting complacency.

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Thursday, August 7, 2008

Thursday, August 7, 2008

we are now welcomed....officially!!!!!!!

Thursday, August 7, 2008 – 7:10 PM
So yesterday was the welcoming ceremony where they officially raise the flag in front of your building and play the national anthem... it is really an emotional moment especially for us athletes who have early events and never attend the opening ceremony.
so for us in some way this was the small and intimate "cutting of the ribbon" and makes you feel proud that you are representing an entity so much larger than self.
Today is my day off and so i am going to spend some time soaking in the village and actually getting my mind to do something it has never done before.... NOT THINK ABOUT SHOOTING!!!
So instead of thinking about shooting perfect bulls eyes... today i am going to think of the pretty women in the village, the weather, the great city of beijing and whatever else pops into my mind will be allowed to stay as long it doesn't involve the words "rifle", "shooting" in it.... hey all it is a great time to be an athlete and this event is what we all live for.....
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Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Olympics, Olympics, Olympics!!!!!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008 – 5:09 AM
well it was my first official day where i felt like a human again having had a great nights sleep.... i had a good practice and as i mentioned earlier it is more like a reconnaissance where i was trying to get a feel... it was a decent day at the range and more importantly i felt great so now i can feel my competitive juices starting to get going and will be raging in a few days...
things at the village also becoming more and more bustling where the final athletes checking in and tomorrow is the official opening ceremony.... so soon it is going to be official that the Games are upon us....
tomorrow is going to pretty much the same as todays routine.... wake up, eat, train, shoot, recovery, dinner, sleep... don't worry i assure everyone out there the life of an athlete is really very exciting....
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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Rested and ready to go!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008 – 5:10 PM
Have awoken this morning and managed to get 8 hours of consecutive sleep....finally!!!!!!!!! Feel good and ready to actually hit the day head on with training, some fitness, a little bit of rehab and a good session of keeping your thoughts at bay....
I actually feel relatively fresh today and am just going to head to breakfast.... the food at these athlete villages is in abundance so much choice that you sometimes get there and spend a good amount of time being confused whether you are really hungry or not....
Nevertheless need sustenance for the day so heading there...
The practice today is going to be something where we are all aiming to get used to our surroundings nothing more and nothing less....
even though most of us here have competed in this range before there will be subtle arrangements and changes that your body needs to get used to so there are no surprises on the big day....
So that is the order of business for today where we will go and soak up some of the vibes in the shooting range and try and get used to things like lighting, the floor on the range and the basic feel of the place....
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It has been a long four years but the day has finally come when it was time i headed to my third olympics. I have spent the last month on the road training in europe so i wanted to make sure i got to Beijiing well in advance to get ready for my event.
i got to beijing two days ago and the city is buzzing with "olympic fever." after a long and grueling flight it was a relief getting to the athletes village which is top of the line and very comfortable.
It is an amazing feeling to be in a place that is buzzing with world class athletes and everyone soaking up the experience but yet all there with one big purpose---- the ever elusive "gold medal"
It is definitely motivating rubbing shoulders with your peers who are all well established in their fields and also with your countrymen a lot of whom you meet for the first time. There is definitely a comraderie in your designated housing blocks which is an experience that one only feels at the Games.
Tomorrow is going to be my first practice since i am still on european time and have only managed 5 hours of sleep in the last couple of days. This is probably a mixture of jet lag and the excitement of actually being at the greatest show on Earth. However i think the tiredness has finally caught up and adrenaline worn off a little and so i am now off to have a great night's sleep.
Have a big day tomorrow with practice and all pre match routines.
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