Against hosting Olympics in India right now, says Abhinav Bindra

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Against hosting Olympics in India right now, says Abhinav Bindra

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SportsCafe Desk


Abhinav Bindra has rejected the idea of India hosting the Olympics stating that unless the country can realistically win 40 gold medals, a bid should not be made. He has also quashed the notion that the lack of money was the biggest problem in India, explaining that it's the lack of quality coaches.

From hosting the Youth Commonwealth Games in 2008 to the U17 FIFA World Cup, India has stamped its authority on the international stage. Recently, there has even been some talk about whether India can host the biggest sporting extravaganza that is the Olympic games and what it could do for sports in the country. However, India’s only individual gold medallist at the Games, Abhinav Bindra, believes that it might not have the impact that many believe it could.

"I'm against hosting an Olympic Games at this stage in India. I think our system is not ready to absorb that," Bindra said during the ‘Times Lit Fest’, reported PTI. 

"It can have some sort of positive benefits in building infrastructure in the city but that can be done without hosting an Olympics. 

“We need to invest in our youth, we need to invest on our athletes, that should be the priority and then when we are in a position to realistically win at least 40 gold medals in the Olympic Games. For me personally, that would be the right moment to host an Olympic Games."

The 35-year-old announced his retirement from the sport after the 2016 Rio Olympics, where he just missed out on a medal finishing in fourth place. Bindra, who had his own battle with epilepsy after being diagnosed with a serious neurological-medical condition, talked about the challenges, mental and physical, he faced during his career and how it helped him grow as an individual.

"I'm a negative person, I'm not talented, I have poor eye sight and I hate competition. But I had the right, positive people around me, who always believed in me, where I saw hopelessness, they saw hope in me," Bindra added. 

"I was left with trembling hands after being diagnosed with epilepsy in 2014. It was a lonely battle but I found a way through. I had a lot of side effects but I took it upon myself to overcome that.

"I was in hospital days before the 2014 Commonwealth Games but I went on to win gold and finished fourth at Rio. I think Rio Games, my last Olympics, was my best performance. During the qualification round, I had kept my rifle on the table and unfortunately, it collapsed. Did it affect my performance, maybe, don't know. But life is all about facing challenges."

Bindra also added that, contrary to popular belief, getting sponsorship in India wasn’t that big a problem but rather it was how the athletes used the funds that had been made available to them. He also explained that biggest problem facing Indian sports was the lack of quality coaches available to the athletes. 

"We need to understand what we want as a nation, we need to spell out if Olympics is important to us. It will require a lot of grassroot development. It will take time. It is a process which takes 10-20 years to get any result. As a society we need to make sports part of our culture," Bindra explained.

"One thing is clear that money is not really a problem for the Indian athletes, they have access to funding but how you use that funding and how to get that expertise around that is the problem.

"We need to have right nurturing for athletes, we need to have the right people around. If you have C grade coaches, then we have to expect C grade result."

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