What he said:
I once got yak milk from China because I was told it enhances concentration. It didn’t. I attached electrodes to my head to view the activity in my brain when I shot well. I lasered off my love handles. Let’s be clear: We’re not you. We’re not better than you, or other athletes, just caught in lives mostly weirder than most.
Abhinav Bindra, India’s first ever gold medallist—at the 2008 Beijing Olympics—in an individual Olympic event recounts the myriad attempts at securing that little bit extra, that edge, that would separate him from his competitors—make him a better shooter.
Bindra’s autobiography, “A Shot At History”, is to be released on October 28, 2011.
The 260-page book, co-written with journalist and sports writer, Rohit Brijnath, is published by HarperCollins.
We have to be a little insane to do this, a trifle obsessive, almost as single-minded as shaven monks who sit for years meditating under trees in search of distant nirvana.
Of the fateful evening the day before he clinched his historic medal, Bindra says:
The mission, whose worth would be evaluated tomorrow…butterflies tango in the stomach.
The answer was a McDonalds meal and a long walk. I am too wired to sleep, but then I have already practiced going without sleep. I stand in my balcony at 3 am and look out into the dark nothingness, another athlete swallowing his fear in this dormitory of the strange and the gifted.
I felt the pressure of the Olympics, as if a nervous breakdown was imminent, and I carried it (a miniature bottle of Jack Daniels) with me. Now, on this sleepless night, I retrieve it from my toilet kit, I twist it open, empty it into my nervous stomach. As if it is an antidote to everything that assails me.
Bindra slept just an hour that night.
What he really meant:
“Obsession—-thy name is gold.”
What he definitely didn’t:
“The book’s merely yakkety-yakkety-yak.”
Saina Nehwal added another glorious chapter to the annals of Indian sport on Sunday, the 12th of December, 2010.
The young Hyderabadi clinched her fourth Super Series title at Hong Kong defeating her Chinese opponent Shixian Wang 15-21, 21-16, 21-17 in one hour and 11 minutes.
The retirement of Elena Dementieva comes as a bit of a shock and surprise to her many fans. She was one Russian player who always seemed on the cusp of usurping a Grand Slam but just could not pull it off. She came close twice—each time losing to her fellow Russian contemporaries, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Anastasia Myskina.
Elena does have the consolation of winning a Gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Elena, how could you disappoint us so?
Elena Dementieva spent fourteen long years on the tour. Can the younger lot match up? What if success does not come that easy? Are they willing to struggle the way Elena did and the way Sharapova is right now?
After a famous victory over Pakistan in the Asia Cup, Indian sport has another reason to celebrate with Saina Nehwal crowning herself with back-to-back victories at the Grand Prix India Open and the Super-Series Singapore Open. The Singapore Open is her second Super Series win following her victory at the Indonesian Open last year.
This is just the latest in a string of achievements by this young shuttler in a sport in which India is not renowned to be a powerhouse. Nonetheless, Indian badminton can boast of some noteworthy successes namely Prakash Padukone, the tragic Syed Modi and more recently Pulella Gopichand ,who also happens to be Nehwal’s coach.
This young 20 year old is the latest star in the firmament of Indian badminton and more importantly Indian sport. And that is something to celebrate because for a nation of over a billion people, we have far too few sport stars our youngsters can model themselves on.
Quote of the day:
I like life. It’s something to do. – Ronnie Shakes