India’s First ever Olympic Individual medalist – Khashaba Dadasaheb Jadhav

I have mentioned in my earlier post Olympic Heroes of India that I will be covering our individual olympic medalist till now. So without further adieu, Let us begin with the very first olympic champion of India.

Also known as Pocket Dynamo, Khashaba Jadhav won the first individual Olympic medal for Independent nation India. He won wrestling Bronze medal in 1952 at Helsinki, Finland.

As it happened

July 24, 1952, Helsinki, Finland

K D Jadhav participated in 52kg category of wrestling.  K D Jadhav defeated players from countries as Mexico, Canada, and Germany. There were about 24 nations who participated in this event.

After K D Jadhav’s Bronze win, it took 44 years for India to win 2nd individual medal. That itself shows the credibility a great player.


image courtesy source

Life Of The Champion

Jadhav grew up in a family of wrestlers. His father Dadasaheb was a wrestling coach. At a tender age of five years, he participated in the sports of gymnastics, swimming, hammer throw and Malkhamb. But he found his true calling in wrestling. At the age of eight, he won his first wrestling bout in just two minute against a local champion wrestler. He was nicknamed as Pocket Dynamo because of his short build and a great athleticism.

K D Jadhav began a career in wrestling while studying in college at Kolhapur Maharashtra. He achieved success at the national level as well, and qualified to participate in the 1948 London Olympics. That was a time where there was no sports setup in India. There were no sponsors as such. K DJadhav struggled financially. He had to borrow money from his family and friends. He finished sixth at London Olympics.

In 1952, He was prepared well. But again financially there was a struggle. However his hard work paid off when he won the first ever individual medal for India.

Video courtesy

There has been a talk about a movie being made on the life of K D Jadhav. I am eagerly waiting for it. This is one of the great way to showcase and preserve the achievement of Our real Heroes to young generation.

Today in 2016,we have forgotten our unsung hero.

p.s. since there was not much of information available on internet, I had to rely on very few reliable sources. Please let me know in case of any mistake. All I want is to pay a tribute to our great Olympians.


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