India first took part in the Olympic Games in 1900, with a lone athlete (Norman Pritchard) who clinched two medals- both silver- in athletics and became the first Asian nation to win an Olympic medal in one of the biggest sporting events in the world.
The nation first sent its team to the Summer Olympic Games in 1920 and took part in the majority of Summer Games since then. India has also competed at several Winter Olympic Games beginning in 1964. Indian athletes have won 28 medals, all at the Summer Games which is not up to the mark but certainly sporting infrastructure in our country is changing and the Olympic experts have predicted that India will win 17 medals in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics which is all set to start from 23rd July 2021. Let’s have a look at some of the 50 unsung facts related to Indian athletes and their reference in regards to the Olympics held till date. Let’s have a look at 50 Interesting facts related to Indian players in reference to Olympics in the description below:
- Dipa Karmakar became the first Indian women gymnast after 52 years to compete at the Olympics, which came up at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
- Khashaba Dadasaheb Jadhav also pronounced as KD Jadhav, a wrestler from the state of Maharashtra, won a bronze medal at the 1952 Helsinki Olympic Games.(which was first individual medal for independent india).
- Balbir Singh Sr created this record at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, where he had scored 5 goals in the final against the Netherlands, where India had won with a margin of 6-1, and this record is not yet broken.
- In the 1956 Olympics, the Indian football team reached the semi-finals by beating the hosts Australia with a margin of 4-2 in the quarter-finals. This is the most outstanding achievement of the Indian football team to date.
- Weightlifter Karnam Malleshwari became the first Indian Women to win an Olympic medal when she won a bronze medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.
- If you look at current Bollywood actors say for example Akshay Kumar, Hrithik Roshan who look fit can participate in any sporting event in Olympics you think it’s myth Bollywood actor can’t do that but a veteran Bollywood actor Jankidas Mehra who was also writer, director but also an Olympian who participated in the 1936 Olympics. He broke as many as 8 cycling world records between 1934 and 1942.
- India has won two Olympic Gold medal in the past including the likes of Saina Nehwal winning bronze in the 2012 London Olympics and Pv Sindhu winning silver in 2016 Rio Olympics but do you know the first badminton player of India who participates in the Olympics it is none other than Dipankar Bhattacharjee who represented India in 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
- Vijender Singh became the first Indian boxer to win an Olympic medal when he won a bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
- Until the 1948 games, art was part of the Olympics and also, an Indian named Chintamani Kar from West Bengal won a silver medal for Great Britain.
- The national anthem at Olympics was first played at the 1948 Olympics because before that, it was British India, and the anthem was played only after Independence.
- Indian hockey has been a strong sport for the nation right before the independence which started in 1920 where the team was called as British India and they used to win against their rivals easily.
- Great Britain withdrew their names from the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics fearing Indian legendary player Dhyan Chand who used to play from one of the colonies of Great Britain.
- With Norman Pritchard winning Two silver medals at 1900 Paris Olympics, India which was Colonial India back then becomes the first Asian nation to win Olympic medal.
- Milkha Singh who finished four in the 400m race at the 1960 Olympics games, created a national record which wasn’t broken till 44 years until an athlete broke that record in 2004 Athens Olympics.
- Nilima Ghose was the first Indian women athlete to participate in Olympics where she ran in 100-metre heat in 1952 Olympics.
- Hockey as a sport has given maximum medals to India till date which is 8 in number.
- In 1920 Olympics, only 5 Indian player travelled to participate in the marquee event.
- India’s tennis debut came in 1924 Olympics where 7 tennis athletes participated for the first time.
- The first medal in Tennis came in 1996 Atlanta Olympics in the men’s singles event by Leander Paes
20. Which finished India’s medal drought in Tennis after 16 years.
- The first Indian player who won a gold medal for India at the Olympics was Abhinav Bindra in the Men’s 10m air rifle event at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
- Out of 118 athletes who participated in the 2016 Rio Olympics only two women players won medals for the nation.
- The list includes PV Sindhu(Badminton) and Sakshi Malik(Wrestling).
- India won six 6 gold medals in Hockey from 1928 to the 1956 Olympics where they won twenty-four successive matches.
- Indian shooters are expected to win more medals in Olympics 2021 but it all started in 2004 when Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore won the silver medal.
26. With this feat Rathore also became the first shooter to win an Olympic medal.
- Indian Hockey goalkeeper Richard Allen conceded a goal when he was busy giving an autograph to his fans. This moment would be remembered in history for a long time.
- Indian women’s hockey team participated in Moscow 1980 Olympics for the first time.
- Women’s boxing was introduced in Olympics for the first time at the 2012 London Olympics where MC Mary Kom was the only boxer from India who qualified for that marquee event.
- She also won a bronze medal in that competition.
- PV Sindhu becomes the first Indian women to win a silver medal in the marquee event.
- Indian women participated for the first time in the 1952 Helsinki Olympic games.
- As British India prior Independence, India has won 5 medals which includes 3 gold and 2 silver.
- Major Dhyanchand, a Legendary Hockey player who was honored by the government by releasing a postage stamp on his name, which was done during his first death anniversary.
- The only Olympics where the Indian basketball team participated so far is 1980
- It is also because the US withdrew from the competition in the same year which paved the way for the Indian team.
- India participated in Archery for the first time in 1998 in Seoul.
- India’s most successful campaign came in 2012 London Olympics where India won 6 medals.
- India has participated in Water Polo in 1948 and 1952 Olympic games.
- PV Sindhu is also the youngest player to win Olympic medal for India till date.
- Golf was played firstly in 1900 and 1904 but it vanished almost after a century .
- It was back in 2016 Rio Olympics where three Indian player participated included the likes of Anirban Lahiri, Shiv Chawarasia and Aditi Ashok.
- Nita Ambani, the wife of Mukesh Ambani, became the first Indian woman to join the International Olympic Committee as a member, and she can serve till the age of 70.
- Not only Leander Paes but Vice Paes won a bronze medal in Hockey in 1972 Munich games.
- It will be India’s eighth representation in Olympics.
- Adolf Hitler offered Dhyan Chand to play for his country after watching the latter performance in the 1936 Berlin Olympics.
47. Dhyan Chand denied the offer and went on to bring laurels for the nation in the field of Hockey.
- Edelweiss Tokio life insurance was the sponsor of the Indian contingent at the 2016 Rio Olympics
- For the first time, India sent 8 wrestlers to participate in the 2016 Rio Olympics.
50 Leander Paes, an ace tennis player has represented India for a record seven times in Olympics till date.