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From Bindra to Paes, India's flag bearers at Summer Olympics

Abhinav Bindra was India
Abhinav Bindra was India's flag bearer at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Modified 24 Feb 2021
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Every four years, the world is treated to the sight of a myriad of athletes beaming with patriotism while carrying their country’s colors at the Summer Olympics.

As in the past, there is much speculation as to who will receive the honour of bearing flags for their countries at the Summer Olympics this year.

Holding the country's flag high in the parade of nations at the opening ceremony of the Summer Olympics with the rest of the contingent following closely behind is one of the greatest honours an athlete can receive.

List of flag bearers for India at Summer Olympics

Bengal's Purma Banerjee became the first Indian Olympian to bear the Indian flag at the 1920 Summer Olympics in Antwerp, Belgium.

Since then, notable athletes including Balbir Singh Sr., Shiny Wilson, and Rajyavardhan Rathore have had the privilege of holding the Indian tricolour aloft at the opening ceremony.

Also Read: Best Olympics ever for India? Here is the full list of medal prospects at Tokyo 2021

India's lone individual Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra was chosen as the flag bearer of the Indian contingent at the previous Summer Olympics in Rio. He ended India's excruciating wait for the elusive Olympic gold medal, after ensuring a first-place finish in the men's 10m air rifle event at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

Sushil Kumar carries his country
Sushil Kumar carries his country's flag during the opening ceremony at London Olympics.

Indian wrestling superstar Sushil Kumar, competing in his second Olympics, led the Indian contingent at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Olympic bronze medallist Sushil was selected ahead of the likes of Abhinav Bindra, Vijender Singh and Leander Paes.

Here is a list of flag bearers of the Indian contingent at the Summer Olympics.

1920 – Purma Banerjee

1932 – Lal Shah Bhokhari

1936 – Major Dhyan Chand

1952 – Balbir Singh Sr.

1956 – Balbir Singh Sr.

1964 – Gurbachan Singh Randhawa

1972 – D.N. Devine Jones

1984 – Zafar Iqbal

1988 – Kartar Dhillon Singh

1992 – Shiny Abraham-Wilson

1996 – Pargat Singh

2000 – Leander Paes

2004 – Anju Bobby George

2008 – Rajyavardhan Rathore

2012 – Sushil Kumar

2016 – Abhinav Bindra

Published 24 Feb 2021, 01:16 IST
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