You are a step away from making History…

One moment separates you from the greatest glory…

You are tied with your opponent and one shot will get u something that none of your countrymen have achieved…

The Individual Olympic gold…

 

To be the champion, you just need one good shot. What would you do?

Obviously, there is only one thing to be done- produce a perfect result.  Shoot precisely at that precise moment.

 

That’s what Abhinav Bindra did. That’s what the world saw him doing on that day- 9th August 2008- in Bejing.

That one final shot, a 10.8, concealed his medal and solidified his greatness.

To top it, he conquered anther record – first shooter to win World Championship and Olympic Gold in 10m Rifle, both in the same cycle.

The question is not what he did. The question is how he did it.

And if you want to know the answer, read his autobiography- A Shot at History.

Abhinav calls it “My Obsessive Journey to Olympic Gold”. But it’s not just obsessive, but fascinating, rigorous, at times crazy mission that is truly inspiring.

The story starts with his dejection at Athens 2004, goes back to his childhood where it all started, comes to the moment when he won the honour in Beijing and it doesn’t stop there.  It talks about his failed attempt in Athens-well, So cruel are sports sometimes that an Olympic record in Qualifier and 7th place in Final, is still considered a failure. (and Abhinav lost there because of slippery floor) That Flop(?) show in a way fuelled his dream. The dream turned into obsession and gripped his life. He tried every possible thing, some as crazy as drinking Yak milk or shoes soled with Ferari-tire rubber. He went for every innovative idea that might lead him a millimetre closer to the one medal that every athlete desires.

 It’s not like cricketers, who can get innings after innings to achieve greatness.  Some even go on to play just to get a record. A shooter’s chance to be the hero of his nation, comes only at Olympics. Once lost, and you have to wait for next four years. Abhinav dreamt of becoming that hero, of being there on the podium when he first played in Olympics at Sydney. And it took him 8 years to get there.

The Gold in Beijing changed him as a person, it changed the shooter in him, it changed the sports in India and it certainly, changed my generation of Indians.

Abhinav showed that greatness is not a matter of talent or tactics only. It’s about perseverance. It’s also about not giving up, about doing the same thing again and again, shot by shot, day by day, year after year.  And In the end, after all the efforts, it might just come down to one single shot… A shot, that creates History.

This is the story of Abhinav, a privileged boy who didn’t think of comforts and followed his dream. This is also a story of Indian Shooting. A must, must, must read.

The book, co-written with veteran sports journalist Rohit Brijnath, is perhaps one of the best piece in sports literature.  Simple, straight, pointed and yet without controversies.

And it has come at the right time, with just months to go for London Olympics, where Abhinav is set to aim at another feat – No shooter has defended his Olympic gold.   

 – Janhavee Moole

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