First-ever Medal for Norman Pritchard Norman Pritchard was India's first-ever Olympic medalist. Pritchard had won two silver medals for India at the 1900 Paris Olympics in the men's 200m and men's 200m hurdles. He was also part of the Indian team that finished fourth in the final standings.
The 1908 London Games were the first to use a point system for determining gold, silver, and bronze winners. This new system meant that if one athlete competed in multiple events, he or she only earned their place on the winning team by achieving something outstanding in at least one race. Since everyone knew this would be impossible for Indians to do, no more athletes from India have been permitted to compete in the Olympics.
United States has won the most Olympic medals with 612. China is second with 288 medals while India has never won an Olympic medal.
United States has won the most gold medals with 165. Germany is second with 79 while India has never won any gold medal.
The Olympic website assigns it to Norman Pritchard, who won two silver medals in athletics at the 1900 Paris Games—200m sprint and hurdles. This accomplishment makes him India's most successful track and field athlete, as well as the most decorated individual Indian Olympian, to date.
He became the first Indian to win an Olympic medal when he took the second spot in the 200-meter race at Paris in 1900. He was only 21 years old at the time of his death from tuberculosis during the London Olympics in 1908.
India has never been able to replicate Pritchard's success at the Olympics. The last Indian to win an Olympic medal was Shiva Keshavan, who won the bronze in men's wrestling at Barcelona in 1992. Since then, nobody has been able to match up to that level of achievement.
The most successful Indian athlete at the Olympics is probably Jijiputra Bikram Shah, also known as Jijiputra Bhim Shah or Jiwaji Pujari. He won three gold medals and one silver at the 1920 Antwerp Games. After that, he started suffering from depression due to the deaths of his wife and son, and died aged 36 in Belgium in January 1924.
However, India did win a number of medals before 1920. They first participated in the Olympics in 1896, and have been participating regularly since then.
Pritchard, Norman Twenty years after a solitary athlete (Norman Pritchard) participated for India in 1900, India sent its first Olympic squad to the 1920 Summer Olympics in Antwerp, Belgium (see India at the 1900 Summer Olympics). Although Pritchard did not compete in 1920, he had already become popular in India and was viewed as a national hero. At that time, women of all races could be found working on British colonial farms and plantations. Some were enslaved, others paid wages, but all were treated as subordinate to men. Among these women was a 22-year-old farm worker from Bengal named Sarala Devi who went by the single name of "Devi". She had a profound influence on Pritchard, who became one of her first students. Under Devi's guidance, Pritchard mastered several difficult stunts that enabled him to earn a living as a trapeze artist throughout most of India's northern provinces. The pair also developed an intimate relationship that resulted in a son they called "Dada" (meaning "daddy"). When Pritchard returned to England to prepare for his second attempt at the Olympics, Devi followed him there. She wanted him to win gold medals so that India would recognize his achievements. Upon Pritchard's death in 1919 from tuberculosis, which he had contracted while training for the Olympics, Devi committed suicide. She was only 30 years old.
India first competed in the Olympic Games in 1900, with a single athlete (Norman Pritchard) earning two silver medals in athletics and became the first Asian nation to do so.
The country's delegation at London 2012 will be made up of 447 athletes from 21 countries. India won its first gold medal at the Olympics when wrestler Mahavir Singh Phogat produced a major upset by defeating three-time champion David Bales of Canada for the men's 55 kg title.
Phogat is also the father of four-time Olympian Gurdeep Singh Palliyal. He is only the second Indian male after Sarwan Singh who has won an individual gold medal at the Olympics. Singh won the silver in wrestling at Seoul 1988.
India has been competing in the Olympic games since 1948 and has won one gold, five silver and seven bronze medals.
Out of the $2.5 billion Indian economy, about 8% comes from gaming profits, with the rest coming from agriculture, industry, and services. The country has the world's largest steel market by volume followed by China. It is also among the top five oil producers.
In fact, India spends more on sports than many countries that are ranked higher than it is.
Wrestler Sushil Kumar became the first Indian since Norman Pritchard in 1900 to win multiple individual Olympic medals (bronze in Beijing in 2008 and silver in London in 2012).
He won both his bouts at the Beijing Games, defeating Japan's Takahiro Komiya in the quarter-finals and France's Yves Herman in the semis. The victory over Komiya earned him $30,000 while that over Herman earned him $60,000. His total earnings during these two games were $90,000.
Kumar's silver medal at the London Games was India's second ever in the event after Chuni Gosal's gold in 1980. He also became the first Indian wrestler to reach an Olympic final since 1960 when he lost out to Ukraine's Volodymyr Lyutyi. Kumar had earlier won a bronze in 2004 as part of the wrestling team.
He started his career in 1992 with a silver medal at the World Wrestling Championships in Mexico City. He then went on to win several other international tournaments including the 1998 World Cup, 1999 World League and 2000 Asian Games before being selected for the Beijing Olympics.
India first participated at the Olympic Games in 1900, with a lone athlete, Norman Pritchard, winning two medals—both silver—in athletics and becoming the first Asian nation to win an Olympic medal. The nation first sent a team to the Summer Olympic Games in 1920 and has participated in every Summer Games since then. In fact, India is the only country to have never withdrawn from an Olympic event.
Besides Pritchard, who else has represented India at the Olympics? Didikitos Kasatkorn and Vijay Kumar represent their countries in multiple games?