Award Name : Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna
Year of Award : 2001
Award for : Sports and Games
Location : Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India
Abhinav Singh Bindra is an Indian shooter and is a World and Olympic champion in the 10 m Air Rifle event. Abhinav Bindra was born on 28 September 1982, in Dehradun, India, to Dr. Arpit Bindra and Babli Bindra. Bindra’s father owned a business and the family was a prosperous one. He studied at the elite Doon School located in Dehradun for a couple of years but later on moved to the St. Stephen’s School located in Chandigarh, Punjab. In 2000, he completed his high school education. He graduated with a Bachelor in Business Administration degree from the University of Colorado. He showed an interest in shooting from an early age and to support his interest his parents got a shooting range installed at their home in Patiala, Punjab. Bindra was initially coached mentored by Dr. Amit Bhattacharjee and subsequently by Lt. Colonel Dhillon. In 1998, at the age of 15, Abhinav Bindra participated in the Commonwealth Games, held at Kuala Lumpu, he was the youngest participant in the games.
He made the heads turn with his performance in the 2001 Munich World Cup; he won a bronze medal with a new junior world score of 597/600. Overall he won six gold medals at various international meets in 2001. In 2010 Commonwealth Games, held at New Delhi, Bindra won the gold medal in the 10m Air Rifle in partnership with Gagan Narang and silver medal in the 10m Air Rifle event. Bindra could not qualify for the 2012 London Olympics but at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, held at Glasgow, he was back at his best. He won a gold medal in the 10m Air Rifle event. He holds the distinction of being the first and only Indian to have held both the World and Olympic titles at the same time. He was honoured with the Arjuna Award, in 2000, and the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, the highest sports award in India in 2001. In 2009, Bindra was awarded the Padma Bhushan, the third highest civilian award in India.