India has come a long way since Abhinav Bindra won the first individual Gold medal for the country at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Since then, India has been making rapid progress towards becoming a sporting nation, with a strong focus on developing its sports ecosystem and ensuring that its athletes are not just mere participants but competitors at global events.
India’s performance at the Tokyo Olympics and the Hangzhou Asian Games showed the attitudinal change and self-belief among its athletes, who are now aiming for medals and glory on the world stage. India achieved its best ever medal haul at both events, with seven medals in Tokyo and 101 medals in Hangzhou, including five Golds each.
India’s success is not limited to one or two sports, but spans across a wide range of disciplines, from athletics to badminton, from boxing to wrestling, from archery to shooting. India has also produced world-class talents in sports like javelin throw, hockey, badminton doubles, and cricket, which is expected to make its Olympic debut in 2028.
India’s Olympic Vision: Top 20 in Paris and Top 10 in Los Angeles
India’s ambition is not to rest on its laurels, but to aim higher and achieve greater heights in the coming years. India has set itself a target of finishing in the top 20 in the medal tally at the 2024 Paris Olympics, with at least five Gold medals. This would be a significant improvement from its 48th rank in Tokyo.
India also has a long-term vision of breaking into the top 10 in the medal tally at the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics, with at least 10 Gold medals. This would be a remarkable feat for a country that has never won more than six Gold medals in a single edition of the Olympics.
To realize this vision, India has been investing heavily in its sports infrastructure, training facilities, coaching staff, scientific support, and athlete welfare. The government has also been backing the growth of sports as a soft power and a tool for social development. Several corporates have also joined hands to support the movement and provide resources and opportunities for the athletes.
India’s Olympic Opportunity: How the IOC Session in Mumbai Can Help
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session, which will be held at the Jio World Centre in Mumbai from October 16 to 18, is a landmark opportunity for Indian sport to benefit from immense knowledge-sharing and networking on the sidelines. The session will bring together world sports leaders, including IOC members, heads of international federations, national Olympic committees, and Olympic partners.
The session will also become more special for India as it is believed that cricket, a game that Indians follow with intense passion, will get the nod for inclusion in the Olympic Games programme for the 2028 Los Angeles Games. This will open up new avenues for Indian cricket players and fans to showcase their talent and enthusiasm on the biggest stage of all.
The session will also offer the Indian Olympic Association and the national sports federations opportunities to engage with the IOC leadership and learn from their best practices and experiences. This can help improve governance and administration within India and foster a more conducive environment for India’s growth in the global sports landscape.
The session will also promote the Olympic values of friendship, respect, and excellence among the Indian youth and society. The Abhinav Bindra Foundation and the Reliance Foundation have been leading the way in implementing the Olympic Value Education Programme in India, which aims to instill these values among youngsters through sports and education.
With such wholesome and conscious evolution, it is only a matter of time that India starts asserting its presence more tellingly on the world stage. And there is no doubt that the IOC Session in Mumbai will act as a catalyst that encourages and inspires India to achieve its Olympic dreams.