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.

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image courtesy source alchetron.com

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 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNGwx4Z3uNM

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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Olympic Heroes of India

There are 70 days to go for the world’s greatest sports extravaganza to begin. So here I want to attempt to write about our own Olympic heroes.

There will be series of posts based on an individual Olympic medalist. I will keep you posted. For now let’s look back at the history of our Olympic performance till now.

To understand what these great men and women Olympian champions of India have achieved requires a quick look at history. Hockey was the only team event where India has done consistently well. But when it comes to the Individual events it took more than a century to win an individual Gold medal for India. Finally Abhinav Bindra has done it at 2008 Beijing Olympics. But again he is the lone sailor. No other Indian has won an Olympic Gold medal yet.

The gala event of Olympics happens once after every 4 years.  A champion goes through grinding hard work, the perseverance, and conquering all financial and mental troubles to achieve that one medal. I feel these champions are real mad. Without madness it is simply not possible to win.  They run, they shoot, they lift weight, they walk, run more and they do it every day. It is incredible. They live for that single moment.

olympians

Since the commencing of the Olympic Games, India has won a total 13 Individual medals. Wrestler Khashaba Jadhav has won the first Bronze for India in the year 1952. Then it took more than 40 years to win individual medal for the second time. Tennis player Leander has achieved this feet; the year was 1996. Weightlifter Karnam Malleswari became the first ever Indian woman to win the medal at Sydney Olympics in 2000.

In the recent London Olympics India has done its best by wining 6 medals in individual sports. This is the greatest performance of our country in Olympics so far. Let’s be positive and hope to do one step better at Rio 2016 Olympics!