The Olympics was first held in 1896 in Athens, Greece. The event had 245 competitors, out of which 200 were Greek, and only 14 countries were able to participate in the games that year. Since then the Olympics has expanded. Today, over 100 countries participate in the games, making it the biggest quadrennial event in sporting history.
India first participated in the games in 1900. Since then, they have been actively involved in the games, with increased participation every year. The team going to Tokyo will one of the biggest contingents ever, including some of the biggest names in sports. In the past, India has won 28 medals in the games.
Let's have a look at all the medal winners ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.
Medals won by India at Olympics
1896 Athens- did not participate
1900 Paris: Norman Pritchard [2 silver medals]
India sent only one athlete to the games in 1900. Norman Pritchard, a British-Indian athlete, won India its first-ever medal. Pritchard won silver in the 200 meters and 200-meter hurdle race.
1904-1912: [Did not participate]
1920 Antwerp, Belgium- No medals
India sent its first contingent to the 1920 Summer Olympics in Antwerp, Belgium. This was a tam of five - three from athletics and two from wrestling. India didn't win a medal here, but this was the start of a big revolution in Indian sports.
1924 Paris: No medals
The Indian contingent in Paris had 14 members. They participated in only two sports, and did not win any medals.
1928 Amsterdam: Gold in Field Hockey
India won its first hockey gold in Amsterdam to announce its arrival on the global stage. The medal was India's first-ever gold as a country in the Olympics, which set the tone for a brilliant future in the sport of hockey.
1932 Los Angeles: Gold in Field Hockey
For the second year running, India won gold in field hockey, beating Japan 11-1 in the finals.
1936 Berlin: Gold medal in Field Hockey
This marked a hat-trick of gold medals for India at the Olympics, as India reigned supreme once again, beating Germany 8-1 in the finals.
1948 London: Gold medal in Field Hockey
The Olympic games resumed after a 12-year wait since 1936. The gold in London was India's first win as an independent nation. In the finals, India won 4-0 against Great Britain to win their 4th gold medal in field hockey.
1952 Helsinki: Gold medal in Field hockey, Bronze- KD Jadhav[wrestling]
As part of their regular triumph, India won its 5th gold medal in field hockey in 1952, beating Netherlands 6-1 in the finals. Khashaba Dadasaheb Jadhav created history by becoming the first Indian since Norman Pritchard to win an individual medal in the Olympics. Jadhav won bronze in the freestyle bantamweight wrestling category.
1956 Melbourne: Gold medal in Field Hockey
India won their 6th gold medal, perhaps the the sweetest of them all, defeating arch-rivals Pakistan 1-0 in the finals.
1960 Rome: Silver medal in Field Hockey
India suffered its first-ever loss in the Olympic finals in Rome. Pakistan got the better of India, beating the 1-0 in the finals.
1964 Tokyo: Gold medal in Field Hockey
India had the last laugh against Pakistan at the 1964 Olympics as they defeated them 1-0 in the finals to secure its 7th Gold medal.
1968 Mexico City: Bronze in Field Hockey
After winning 7 Gold medals and one silver, for the first time in Olympic history, India was not part of the finals as they had to settle with a bronze in Mexico after battling it out in a 2-1 win against West Germany.
1972 Munich: Bronze in Field Hockey
Once again, India had to be content with a bronze, beating Netherlands Netherlands in the Playoffs to finish at the podium.
1976 Montreal: No medals
India sent a 20 member squad to Montreal but were unsuccessful in bagging even a single medal at the 1976 Olympics.
1980 Moscow: Gold Medal in Field Hockey
After going winless in Montreal, Indian hockey came back with a gold in Moscow, as they emerged 1-0 winners in the finals against Spain.
1984 Los Angeles: No medals
India sent a 48 member contingent to Tokyo but were unable to come out with a medal in Los Angeles.
1988 Seoul: No medals
1992 Barcelona: No medals
1996 Atlanta: Bronze medal- Leander Paes [Tennis]
Leander Paes put an end to India's agonizing wait for an Olympic medal beating Brazil's Fernando Meligeni in the playoffs. This was India's first individual medal since KD Jadhav in 1952.
2000 Sydney: Bronze medal- Karnam Malleshwari [Weighlifting]
Karnam Malleshwari became the first Indian woman to win a medal at the Olympics. This inspired an entire generation to take up the sport.
2004 Athens: Silver-Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore [Shooting]
India won its first ever medal in shooting after a terrific performance from Rajyavardhan Singh in the men's double trap event. This was the beginning of India's road to being a shooting powerhouse.
2008 Beijing: Gold- Abhinav Bindra [shooting], Bronze- Sushil Kumar, Vijender Singh [wrestling, boxing]
Abhinav Bindra made history in Beijing as he became the first Indian to ever win an individual gold. He beat some high profile names to claim world supremacy. Sushil Kumar also won bronze, ending India's 56 year long wait to win a wrestling medal. To add to the jubilation of the Indians, Vijender Singh won bronze in boxing to sum up the greatest individual Olympic performances by Indians at the Olympics.
2012 London: Silver - Vijay Kumar, Sushil Kumar, Bronze -Gagan Narang, Saina Nehwal, MC Mary Kom
India had one of the most successful Olympic games in London as they came out with 6 medals, including 4 bronze and 2 silver medals. Sushil Kumar and Vijay Kumar won silver. The remaining medals were all bronze.
2016 Rio: Bronze - Sakshi Malik, Silver - PV Sindhu
Sakshi Malik became the first female wrestler to win bronze in the Olympics. PV Sindhu won silver in Rio as she finished runner-up to Carolina Marin in the finals.