CHENNAI: Abhinav Bindra has been India's only individual Olympic champion so far but another
shooter might join him in that league if the prediction of the Beijing gold medallist comes true. "Individual gold in the Olympics should come from shooting and hopefully it comes during the 2021 Tokyo Games," Bindra told young India paddler Mudit Dani during a chat show on Instagram.
Speaking on his historic feat in the 2008 Games, the former 10m air rifle shooter said he was process-oriented and lived in the moment, which worked in his favour. "The night before the gold medal haul, I had panic attacks. I could barely sleep. You cannot prepare for such situations. However, acceptance of the
situation was very important and there will be pressure but trying to absorb it is important, and learning to work with it is a critical thing. We normally try and resist it and that is the biggest mistake. Saying yes and accepting it will help the mind to find a way to work out the pressure. It is about enduring it and working with it."
The 37-year-old said he had set smaller goals and tried to achieve them instead of focussing on the final outcome. "It's important to understand the process that leads to the outcome," stated Bindra. His three words of advice for the young athletes are "persist, persevere and never give up".
The four-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist also shared his heart-breaking experience during the 2004 Athens Olympics but asserted that the failure helped him learn how to detach from the outcome and stay focussed on the process.
Bindra, who is also a member of the International Olympic Committee's (IOC's) Athletes' Commission, highlighted the importance of mental health and how he is trying hard to make athletes aware of it. "Mental health is something I am deeply passionate about and have taken it up as a part of the Athletes' Commission at the IOC in a serious manner. We are consistently trying to raise voice and talk about it. A tool kit is being prepared for athletes that can be taken by the IOC, national federations and members of the commission to address the issue."
Talking about the ABTP (Abinav Bindra Targeting Performance) centres, the Punjab shooter said, "I am an athlete, who has leveraged on Sports Science and scientific backups while in Germany or the USA to prepare. I have been fortunate to have experienced all these when our country was not used to such things.
The idea is to create a similar high-performance centre in India for the benefits of young athletes."
Commenting on his proposed biopic, he said, "It's a loose adaptation of my career. As long as the spirit of what I did and what I achieved is adapted, I am fine with it."