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25 August 2008 Sports Cover Story

Know Your Abhinav Bindra

The men and woman behind the gold finger, the family, the career, the personality...
Team Bindra

Coach Gabriele Buhlmann Former Swiss shooter, never won a medal in her four Olympics. Specialist in technique and approach

Physiotherapist Dr Uwe Riesterer The German who kept Abhinav’s body tuned to the challenge

Psychologist Dr Amit Bhattacharjee Has a doctorate in sports psychology and management

Mental Coach Dr Timothy Harkness Wasn’t in Beijing but credit Abhinav’s concentration to him

Shooting Career

  • Talent first spotted by Lt Col J.S. Dhillon, who took the future gold medallist under his wing
  • Began participating in competitive events from age 13
  • Has won individual gold in: Beijing Olympics, 2008; ISSF World Shooting Championships, Zagreb, ’06
  • Has bagged gold in pairs event in: Commonwealth Games, Manchester, ’02; Commonwealth Games, Melbourne, ’06; Asian Shooting Championship, ’07 (team event)
  • Other medals: Silver in Commonwealth Games, Manchester, ’02; bronze in Commonwealth Games, Melbourne, ’06
  • Given Arjuna award in ’01; Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award for ’01-02
Cash Rewards

Has hit the jackpot from the day he bagged gold in Beijing

  • Rs 1.5 crore—Laxmi Mittal, chairman of Arcelor-Mittal
  • Rs 1 crore—Punjab government
  • Rs 25 lakh—Haryana government
  • Rs 25 lakh—Board of Control for Cricket in India
  • Rs 11 lakh—Bihar government
  • Rs 10 lakh—Maharashtra government
  • Rs 10 lakh—Karnataka government
  • Rs 5 lakh—MP government
  • Rs 5 lakh—Orissa government
  • Rs 5 lakh—Steel Authority of India Ltd
  • Rs 5 lakh—Chandigarh Administration
  • Rs 5 lakh—Municipal Corporation of Delhi
  • Rs 1 lakh—Chhattisgarh government
  • Also, free lifetime railway pass for AC first class. Patna indoor stadium to be named after Bindra.
  • Quiet and reserved. Choosy about his friends.
  • Don’t mistake his reticence for arrogance. Shooting is a mechanical sport, practised in isolation, makes an introvert out of even the most gregarious
  • Immense concentration powers. Showed no emotion even on winning the gold because he was still in the ‘zone’
The Bindra Family
  • Born on 28 September, 1982
  • Father A.S. Bindra is a PhD in veterinary science and owns a flourishing business
  • Mother Babli, was a national handball player
  • Grandfather Col Bir Singh played for the services’ hockey team led by the legandary Dhyan Chand
  • Sister Divya is married into the family that owns Atlas Cycle
  • The family’s Hi Tech group is a 500-crore firm with interests in food processing, real estate and weapons. A new firm, Abhinav Futuristic Ltd, is to now develop five-star resorts
  • Abhinav studied in Dehradun and later shifted to Chandigarh, where they live in a 13-acre farmhouse. The house boasts an Olympic-standard, fully-airconditioned shooting range, built at a cost of Rs 1 crore.
  • Has done business management and also holds a diploma in Sports Mental Management

SUBSECTION: Cover Stories
OUTLOOK: 25 August, 2008
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