India at the
Olympics
Flag of India.svg
IOC codeIND
NOCIndian Olympic Association
Websiteolympic.ind.in
Medals
Ranked 58th
Gold
10
Silver
9
Bronze
16
Total
35
Summer appearances
Winter appearances
Other related appearances
 Independent Olympic Participants (2014)

India first participated at the Olympic Games in 1900, with a lone athlete Norman Pritchard winning two medals – both silver – in athletics and became the first Asian nation to win an Olympic medal.[1]

The nation first sent a team to the Summer Olympic Games in 1920 and has participated in every Summer Games since then. India has also competed at several Winter Olympic Games beginning in 1964.

Indian athletes have won 35 medals, all at the Summer Games. For a period of time, the Indian Men's Field Hockey Team was dominant in Olympic competition, winning eleven medals in twelve Olympics between 1928 and 1980. The run included eight gold medals of which six were won consecutively from 1928 to 1956.[2]

History

During British Imperial Rule

India team that won the gold medal at 1928 Summer Olympics
India team that won the gold medal at 1928 Summer Olympics

Despite being under British rule until 1947, India participated in the Olympic Games separately from the British Olympic Team. India sent its first athlete to the Summer Olympics for the 1900 Games, but an Indian national team did not compete at the Summer Olympics until 1920. Ahead of the 1920 Games, Sir Dorabji Tata and Governor of Bombay George Lloyd helped India secure representation at the International Olympic Committee, enabling it to participate in the Games (see India at the 1920 Olympic Games). India then sent a team to the 1920 Olympics, comprising three athletes, two wrestlers, and managers Sohrab Bhoot and A. H. A. Fyzee. The Indian Olympic movement was then established during the 1920s: some founders of this movement were Dorabji Tata, A.G. Noehren (Madras College of Physical Education), H.C. Buck (Madras College of Physical Education), Moinul Haq (Bihar sports associations), S. Bhoot (Bombay Olympic Association), A.S. Bhagwat (Deccan Gymkhana), and Guru Dutt Sondhi (Punjab Olympic Association); Lt. Col H.L.O. Garrett (from the Government College Lahore and Punjab Olympic Association) and Sagnik Poddar (of St. Stephen's School) helped organise some early national games; and prominent patrons included Maharajas and royal princes such as Bhupinder Singh of Patiala, Ranjitsinhji of Nawanagar, the Maharaja of Kapurthala, and the Maharaja of Burdwan.[3][4][5]

In 1923, a provisional All India Olympic Committee was formed, and in February 1924, the All India Olympic Games (that later became the National Games of India) were held to select a team for the 1924 Summer Olympics. The Indian delegation at the Paris Olympics comprised seven athletes, seven tennis players and team manager Harry Buck.[6]

Indian hockey team at 1936 Berlin Olympics
Indian hockey team at 1936 Berlin Olympics

In 1927, the provisional Indian Olympic Committee formally became the Indian Olympic Association (IOA); its main tasks were to promote the development of sports in India, choose host cities for the national games, and send teams selected from the national games to the Summer Olympics. Thus, at the 1928 national games, it selected seven athletes to represent India at the next Summer Olympics, with Sondhi as manager. By this time, the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) had also been established and it sent a hockey team to the Summer Olympics. The national hockey team was similarly sent to the 1932 Games along with four athletes and one swimmer and 1936 Games with four athletes, three wrestlers, one weight-lifter, along with three officials headed by team manager Sondhi. The Indian field hockey team dominated the Olympics from 1928 to 1936 winning an unprecedented three consecutive titles. In the 1928 Summer Olympics final India defeated Netherlands 3–0. It was a great achievement for the fact, that it was the first gold medal won by any nation from Asia at the modern Olympic Games.[7][8] In 1932 Summer Olympics India defeated United States 24–1, the largest margin of victory in Olympics history.[9] In 1936 Summer Olympics final they defeated Germany 8–1, the largest margin of victory ever in an Olympic final.[10]

Post-independence

India scoring their third goal against Britain in the final at the 1948 Olympics
India scoring their third goal against Britain in the final at the 1948 Olympics

From 1948 onwards, because of the IOA's wider outreach, India began sending delegations of over 50 athletes in several sports, each selected by its sports federation, to the Summer Olympics. The delegation was headed by a chef-de-mission. The Indian field hockey team won a gold medal at the 1948 Summer Olympics by defeating Great Britain in the final. It was the first gold medal for India as an independent nation.[11]

1952 Helsinki Gold Medal winning team with Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru
1952 Helsinki Gold Medal winning team with Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru

In the 1952 Summer Olympics wrestler K. D. Jadhav won the first individual medal for independent India. The Indian field hockey team continued their dominance by winning a sixth straight title by defeating Pakistan in the final in 1956 Summer Olympics. The six straight title win by the Indian team was an Olympic record at that time. This record was later only surpassed by United States men's and women's basketball team.

In the 1960 Summer Olympics the hockey team lost the final and had to settle for a silver medal.[12] The team bounced back by winning gold at the 1964 Summer Olympics.[13] But went on to win only bronze medals in the next two Olympics.[14][15] In 1976 Summer Olympics India went home empty handed, the first time since 1924.

Indian hockey team won their record 8th olympic gold at the 1980 Summer Olympics.[16][17] India had to return empty handed in the next three Summer Olympics. At the 1996 Summer Olympics held in Atlanta, tennis player Leander Paes won a bronze medal at the men's singles event ending a barren run of 16 years without a medal at the Olympics and also became the first individual medalist since 1952.[18]

Recent history

Sushil Kumar (left) became the first Indian athlete to win multiple individual Olympic medals since independence
Sushil Kumar (left) became the first Indian athlete to win multiple individual Olympic medals since independence

At the 2000 Sydney Olympics, Karnam Malleswari won a bronze medal in the Women's 69 kg weightlifting category. It was the first-ever Olympic medal won by an Indian woman.[19]

At the 2004 Athens Olympics, star shooter Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore won the silver medal in Men's double trap shooting.[20]

At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Abhinav Bindra won gold in the Men's 10 metre air rifle event becoming the first Indian to win an individual gold medal at the Olympic Games.[21] Vijender Singh got the country's first medal in boxing with his bronze medal in Middleweight category. The 3 medal haul for India was the best till that year. Subsequently, the record was bettered to make it the third best performance in history.[22]

The 2012 Summer Olympics saw a record 83-member Indian contingent participating in the games and setting a new best for the country with a total of six medals.[20] Wrestler Sushil Kumar became the first Indian with multiple individual Olympic medals (bronze at the 2008 Summer Olympics and silver at the 2012 Summer Olympics) since independence. Saina Nehwal won a bronze medal in badminton in Women's singles, winning the country's first Olympic medal in badminton. Pugilist Mary Kom became the first Indian woman to win a medal in boxing with her bronze medal in Women's flyweight division. Star shooter Gagan Narang won the bronze in men's 10 m air rifle shooting.[23] Vijay Kumar added another medal by winning a silver in men's 25 m rapid fire pistol competition.[24]This was India's best performance till it was overtaken in 2020.

Olympics Bronze medalist Mary Kom with young sportsperson.
Olympics Bronze medalist Mary Kom with young sportsperson.

At the 2016 Summer Olympics, a record number of 118 athletes competed. Sakshi Malik became the first Indian female wrestler to win an Olympic medal with her bronze medal in the Women's freestyle 58 kg category.[25] Shuttler P. V. Sindhu won a silver medal in Women's singles badminton, becoming the first Indian woman to win an Olympic silver medal and also the youngest Indian Olympic medalist.[26]

In the 2020 Summer Olympics (held in 2021), India was represented by a new record number of 124 athletes. Saikhom Mirabai Chanu secured a silver in the weightlifting women's category of 49 kg on the opening day, the first time India won a medal on the opening day of any Olympics.[27] A few days later, P. V. Sindhu defeated China's He Bingjiao in the Women's singles badminton bronze medal match in straight games, thus becoming the first Indian woman to win two individual Olympic medals.[28][29] Neeraj Chopra won the gold in Javelin Throw, becoming the first Indian to win a gold medal in track and field and the second Indian to win an individual Olympic gold.[30] In Men's Field Hockey, India won a bronze medal. This medal came after a gap of 41 years, having last won a gold medal in Moscow 1980.[31][32] In the wrestling competitions, Ravi Kumar Dahiya won a silver medal and Bajrang Punia won a bronze medal.[33][34] Olympic debutant Lovlina Borgohain took bronze in women's boxing. She became only the second woman to win an Olympic medal in boxing.[35] The haul of 7 medals is the best performance for India in the Olympics history.[36][37][38]

Olympic Milestones

Milestone Athlete/Team Game(s) Sport Medal(s)
First Medal,
First Individual Medal
Norman Pritchard France 1900 Paris Athletics Silver Silver
First Individual Medal after Independence K. D. Jadhav Finland 1952 Helsinki Wrestling Bronze Bronze
First Gold Medal Men's Field Hockey Team Netherlands 1928 Amsterdam Field hockey Gold Gold
First Gold Medal after Independence Men's Field Hockey Team United Kingdom 1948 London Field hockey Gold Gold
First Individual Gold Medal[39] Abhinav Bindra China 2008 Beijing Shooting Gold Gold
First Individual Multi-medallist Norman Pritchard France 1900 Paris Athletics Silver Silver
Silver Silver
First Individual Multi-medallist after Independence Sushil Kumar China 2008 Beijing
United Kingdom 2012 London
Wrestling Bronze Bronze
Silver Silver
First Female Medallist Karnam Malleswari Australia 2000 Sydney Weightlifting Bronze Bronze
First Female Multi-medallist P. V. Sindhu Brazil 2016 Rio de Janeiro
Japan 2020 Tokyo
Badminton Silver Silver
Bronze Bronze

Indian Contingent at Olympics

Following lists provide a comparative compendium of the number of participants from India in the Summer and Winter Olympic games.

Medal tables

See also: All-time Olympic Games medal table

Medals by Sports

List of medalists

Medal Name/Team Games Sport Event Date
Silver medal.svg
Silver
Norman Pritchard France 1900 Paris
Athletics
Athletics
Men's 200 metres 22 July 1900
Silver medal.svg
Silver
Norman Pritchard France 1900 Paris
Athletics
Athletics
Men's 200 metre hurdles 16 July 1900
Gold medal.svg
Gold
Netherlands 1928 Amsterdam
Field Hockey
Field hockey
Men's competition 26 May 1928
Gold medal.svg
Gold
United States 1932 Los Angeles
Field Hockey
Field hockey
Men's competition 11 August 1932
Gold medal.svg
Gold
Germany 1936 Berlin
Field Hockey
Field hockey
Men's competition 15 August 1936
Gold medal.svg
Gold
United Kingdom 1948 London
Field Hockey
Field hockey
Men's competition 12 August 1948
Gold medal.svg
Gold
Finland 1952 Helsinki
Field Hockey
Field hockey
Men's competition 24 July 1952
Bronze medal.svg
Bronze
K. D. Jadhav Finland 1952 Helsinki
Wrestling
Wrestling
Men's freestyle Bantamweight 23 July 1952
Gold medal.svg
Gold
Australia 1956 Melbourne
Field Hockey
Field hockey
Men's competition 6 December 1956
Silver medal.svg
Silver
Italy 1960 Rome
Field Hockey
Field hockey
Men's competition 9 September 1960
Gold medal.svg
Gold
Japan 1964 Tokyo
Field Hockey
Field hockey
Men's competition 23 October 1964
Bronze medal.svg
Bronze
Mexico 1968 Mexico City
Field Hockey
Field hockey
Men's competition 26 October 1968
Bronze medal.svg
Bronze
West Germany 1972 Munich
Field Hockey
Field hockey
Men's competition 10 September 1972
Gold medal.svg
Gold
Soviet Union 1980 Moscow
Field Hockey
Field hockey
Men's competition 29 July 1980
Bronze medal.svg
Bronze
Leander Paes United States 1996 Atlanta
Tennis
Tennis
Men's singles 3 August 1996
Bronze medal.svg
Bronze
Karnam Malleswari Australia 2000 Sydney
Weightlifting
Weightlifting
Women's 69 kg 19 September 2000
Silver medal.svg
Silver
Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore Greece 2004 Athens
Shooting
Shooting
Men's double trap 17 August 2004
Gold medal.svg
Gold
Abhinav Bindra China 2008 Beijing
Shooting
Shooting
Men's 10 m air rifle 11 August 2008
Bronze medal.svg
Bronze
Vijender Singh
Boxing
Boxing
Middleweight 20 August 2008
Bronze medal.svg
Bronze
Sushil Kumar
Wrestling
Wrestling
Men's freestyle 66 kg 21 August 2008
Silver medal.svg
Silver
Vijay Kumar United Kingdom 2012 London
Shooting
Shooting
Men's 25 m rapid fire pistol 3 August 2012
Silver medal.svg
Silver
Sushil Kumar
Wrestling
Wrestling
Men's freestyle 66 kg 12 August 2012
Bronze medal.svg
Bronze
Saina Nehwal
Badminton
Badminton
Women's singles 4 August 2012
Bronze medal.svg
Bronze
Mary Kom
Boxing
Boxing
Women's flyweight 8 August 2012
Bronze medal.svg
Bronze
Gagan Narang
Shooting
Shooting
Men's 10m air rifle 30 July 2012
Bronze medal.svg
Bronze
Yogeshwar Dutt
Wrestling
Wrestling
Men's freestyle 60 kg 11 August 2012
Silver medal.svg
Silver
P. V. Sindhu Brazil 2016 Rio de Janeiro
Badminton
Badminton
Women's singles 19 August 2016
Bronze medal.svg
Bronze
Sakshi Malik
Wrestling
Wrestling
Women's freestyle 58 kg 17 August 2016
Gold medal.svg
Gold
Neeraj Chopra Japan 2020 Tokyo
Athletics
Athletics
Men's javelin throw 7 August 2021
Silver medal.svg
Silver
Saikhom Mirabai Chanu
Weightlifting
Weightlifting
Women's 49 kg 24 July 2021
Silver medal.svg
Silver
Ravi Kumar Dahiya
Wrestling
Wrestling
Men's freestyle 57 kg 5 August 2021
Bronze medal.svg
Bronze
P. V. Sindhu
Badminton
Badminton
Women's singles 1 August 2021
Bronze medal.svg
Bronze
Lovlina Borgohain
Boxing
Boxing
Women's welterweight 4 August 2021
Bronze medal.svg
Bronze
Field Hockey
Field hockey
Men's tournament 5 August 2021
Bronze medal.svg
Bronze
Bajrang Punia
Wrestling
Wrestling
Men's freestyle 65 kg 7 August 2021

Multiple Medalists

Team Sports

Athlete Sport Games
Gold medal olympic.svg
Gold
Silver medal olympic.svg
Silver
Bronze medal olympic.svg
Bronze
Total
Leslie Claudius Field hockey 1948–1960 3 1 0 4
Udham Singh Field hockey 1952–1964 3 1 0 4
Richard James Allen Field hockey 1928–1936 3 0 0 3
Dhyan Chand Field hockey 1928–1936 3 0 0 3
Ranganathan Francis Field hockey 1948–1956 3 0 0 3
Randhir Singh Gentle Field hockey 1948–1956 3 0 0 3
Balbir Singh Sr. Field hockey 1948–1956 3 0 0 3
Shankar Lakshman Field hockey 1956–1964 2 1 0 3
Haripal Kaushik Field hockey 1956–1964 2 1 0 3
John Peter Field hockey 1960–1968 1 1 1 3
Prithipal Singh Field hockey 1960–1968 1 1 1 3
Harbinder Singh Field hockey 1964–1972 1 0 2 3
Carlyle Tapsell Field hockey 1932–1936 2 0 0 2
Roop Singh Field hockey 1932–1936 2 0 0 2
Jaswant Rai Field hockey 1948–1952 2 0 0 2
Govind Perumal Field hockey 1952–1956 2 0 0 2
Amir Kumar Field hockey 1948–1956 2 0 0 2
Jaswant Singh Rajput Field hockey 1948–1952 2 0 0 2
Leslie Hammond Field hockey 1928–1932 2 0 0 2
Broome Pinniger Field hockey 1928–1932 2 0 0 2
Sayed Jaffar Field hockey 1932–1936 2 0 0 2
Keshav Dutt Field hockey 1948–1952 2 0 0 2
Grahanandan Singh Field hockey 1948–1952 2 0 0 2
K. D. Singh Field hockey 1948–1952 2 0 0 2
Raghbir Lal Field hockey 1952–1956 2 0 0 2
Joginder Singh Field hockey 1960–1964 1 1 0 2
Raghbir Singh Bhola Field hockey 1956–1960 1 1 0 2
Mohinder Lal Field hockey 1960–1964 1 1 0 2
Balkrishan Singh Field hockey 1956–1960 1 1 0 2
Rajendran Christie Field hockey 1964–1968 1 0 1 2
Balbir Singh Kullar Field hockey 1964–1968 1 0 1 2
Jagjit Singh Field hockey 1964–1968 1 0 1 2
Gurbux Singh Field hockey 1964–1968 1 0 1 2
Krishnamurthy Perumal Field hockey 1968–1972 0 0 2 2
Ajitpal Singh Field hockey 1968–1972 0 0 2 2
Harmik Singh Field hockey 1968–1972 0 0 2 2

Individual Sports

Athlete Sport Games
Gold medal olympic.svg
Gold
Silver medal olympic.svg
Silver
Bronze medal olympic.svg
Bronze
Total
Norman Pritchard Athletics 1900 0 2 0 2
Sushil Kumar Wrestling 2008–2012 0 1 1 2
P. V. Sindhu Badminton 2016–2020 0 1 1 2

Indian Men's Field Hockey Team at the Summer Olympics

Olympic Records

Medal Table

Games Ranking
United Kingdom 1908 London Did not enter
Belgium 1920 Antwerp Did not enter
Netherlands 1928 Amsterdam Gold Gold
United States 1932 Los Angeles Gold Gold
Germany 1936 Berlin Gold Gold
United Kingdom 1948 London Gold Gold
Finland 1952 Helsinki Gold Gold
Australia 1956 Melbourne Gold Gold
Italy 1960 Rome Silver Silver
Japan 1964 Tokyo Gold Gold
Mexico 1968 Mexico City Bronze Bronze
West Germany 1972 Munich Bronze Bronze
Canada 1976 Montreal 7th
Soviet Union 1980 Moscow Gold Gold
United States 1984 Los Angeles 5th
South Korea 1988 Seoul 6th
Spain 1992 Barcelona 7th
United States 1996 Atlanta 8th
Australia 2000 Sydney 7th
Greece 2004 Athens 7th
China 2008 Beijing Did not qualify
United Kingdom 2012 London 12th
Brazil 2016 Rio de Janeiro 8th
Japan 2020 Tokyo Bronze Bronze

Recognition of athletes and coaches

From the 2016 Summer Olympics, Olympic medallists and their coaches have been given advance consideration for the National Sports Awards if they have not already received one.[41]

As of 2021, the Indian Olympic Association recognises Olympic medallists with the following cash prizes: 7.5 million (US$94,000) for gold medallists, 4 million (US$50,000) for silver and 2.5 million (US$31,000) for bronze. Coaches of Olympic medallists receive 1.25 million (US$16,000), 1 million (US$13,000) and 0.75 million (US$9,400), respectively.[42]

National level

Olympic medallists are rewarded by the Government of India with the following cash prizes as of 2021: 7.5 million (US$94,000) for gold medallists, 5 million (US$63,000) for silver and 3 million (US$38,000) for bronze.[43]

State and union territory level

At the state/territorial level, Olympians receive cash awards of various amounts, depending on their home region.

Monetary awards for Olympians and coaches by state/territory (as of 2021)
State/Union Territory Gold medal Silver medal Bronze medal Olympic qualifier Coach of gold medallist Coach of silver medallist Coach of bronze medallist Refs
Andhra Pradesh 7.5 million (US$94,000) 5 million (US$63,000) 3 million (US$38,000) 0.5 million (US$6,300) - - - [44][45]
Assam 10 million (US$130,000) 7.5 million (US$94,000) 5 million (US$63,000) 0.5 million (US$6,300) 1 million (US$13,000) 0.5 million (US$6,300) 0.3 million (US$3,800) [46]
Chandigarh 60 million (US$750,000) 40 million (US$500,000) 25 million (US$310,000) - - - - [43]
Chhattisgarh 60 million (US$750,000) 40 million (US$500,000) 25 million (US$310,000) - - - - [43]
Delhi 30 million (US$380,000) 20 million (US$250,000) 10 million (US$130,000) - - - - [43]
Goa 10 million (US$130,000) - - - - - - [47]
Gujarat 50 million (US$630,000) - - 1 million (US$13,000) - - - [43][48]
Haryana 60 million (US$750,000) 40 million (US$500,000) 25 million (US$310,000) 0.5 million (US$6,300) - - - [43][49]
Himachal Pradesh 20 million (US$250,000) - - - - - - [47]
Jammu and Kashmir 5 million (US$63,000) - - - - - - [47]
Jharkhand 20 million (US$250,000) - - - - - - [47]
Karnataka 50 million (US$630,000) - - - - - - [43]
Kerala 10 million (US$130,000) - - - - - - [47]
Maharashtra 10 million (US$130,000) 7.5 million (US$94,000) 5 million (US$63,000) - - - - [47]
Manipur 12 million (US$150,000) 10 million (US$130,000) 7.5 million (US$94,000) - - - - [50]
Meghalaya 7.5 million (US$94,000) - - - - - - [47]
Odisha 60 million (US$750,000) 40 million (US$500,000) 25 million (US$310,000) - - - - [43]
Punjab 22.5 million (US$280,000) - - 0.5 million (US$6,300) - - - [47]
Rajasthan 30 million (US$380,000) - - - - - - [47]
Sikkim 30 million (US$380,000) - - - - - - [47]
Tamil Nadu 30 million (US$380,000) 20 million (US$250,000) 10 million (US$130,000) 0.5 million (US$6,300) - - - [51]
Telangana 20 million (US$250,000) - - - - - - [47]
Uttarakhand 15 million (US$190,000) - - - - - - [47]
Uttar Pradesh 60 million (US$750,000) 40 million (US$500,000) 20 million (US$250,000) - - - - [43]
West Bengal 2.5 million (US$31,000) 1.5 million (US$19,000) 1 million (US$13,000) - - - - [47]

See also

References

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