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"I will be proud of myself even if I do not win a medal at 2016 Rio Olympics", says Abhinav Bindra

Bindra wants to grow a culture of sports in the country.

Abhinav Bindra says he will be happy even if he does not win at Rio.

Just ahead of the Rio Olympic Games, Indian shooter Abhinav Bindra has come out and said that he will be proud of himself even if he fails to win a medal at the Games. The only Indian to have won an individual gold medal at the Olympic Games, Bindra spoke to NDTV where he expressed his views on a number of issues.

Speaking about his need of winning a medal at his last Olympics, the shooter said, “It’s a need, a complete need. I don’t have much time left in shooting which should be very evident from my announcements over the last couple of years.” He also stressed on the fact that Rio Games will be his last Olympic Games for sure.

Referring to the changes that have taken place from Beijing to Rio, he said, “It was a different time in Beijing, I was a different person before Beijing. My needs were different. My shooting was also different. I have to spend a lot of time in the gym and rehab now. In order to shoot in an efficient manner, I have to focus on my body.”

The shooter has replicated a training range in his own city to help him get used to the colors that will be used in Rio. He also focussed on his training being helpful for him and said the results can only be seen in Rio. He said, “We will know after my performance in Rio if my preparation was helpful.”

He also said that he does not keep track of his competitors, “I don't keep a check on the results of any of my competitors. I don’t even know who my competitors are. I have to focus on doing my best. What matters is what I do on that particular day. I could have a bad day. But I can only try to give my best on that day.”

Also read: Rio Olympics 2016: Know your Indian Olympian- 10 things to know about Atanu Das

Bindra also spoke at length about the problems of the athletes and how he has helped them overcome their problems. He said “I was deeply honored when the IOA appointed me the goodwill ambassador. I could just not sit and do nothing. So I sent a letter to all the athletes if they wanted to share any problems and would like to know my experiences. Some people needed physios, some people needed support staff. Therefore, I forwarded a letter about their needs to the Association.”

Talking about Nita Ambani’s inclusion in the International Olympic Association (IOA), the shooter seemed confident that Ambani will win her place. He said, “Yes, I think Nita Ambani will win. It is fantastic that she will be an IOC member. I sincerely hope that she enjoys her time in the Olympic movement. I hope she can bridge the gap between athletes and associations. I love cricket and I love sports but I think there needs to be a shift towards the Olympic movement.”

Bindra also criticised the time duration and formalities involved in the funding of the athletes. He said that the athletes cannot wait for a long time to get funded and that they cannot get involved in the government procedures. He said it's a peculiar situation with how the paperwork is so cumbersome. But he also said that in the last few months, the situation has started to get better.

Also read: Rio Olympics 2016: Know your Indian Olympian- 10 things to know about SSP Chawrasia

He also said ,“For India to grow as country we have to create a culture of sports. It is getting better but it is still at a lower level. The shift will come when the young people will get into sport rather than going out to watch movies on the holidays. For that to happen, there is work to do.”

“There is no finish line to greatness, you just go on until you want to. I competed in Beijing. I wanted to quit after Beijing. But I participated in London. I have always tried to do my best. I have done my best every day from London to Rio. I’m proud of what I did in Beijing (2008). I am proud of what I did in London (2012).  I will be proud if it finishes well. Even if it doesn’t, I will still be happy.”

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