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From First individual Olympic Silver medal winner of India to First Sportsperson to be Country’s sports minister

India won its first-ever silver medal in individual event at the Olympics when its ace shooter Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore struck in Athens.

Last updated: 08.12.2017
Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore currently taking the charge to reform sports participation in his second innings as country's sports minister. | Chase Your Sport | Sports Social Blog

India won its first-ever silver medal in the individual event at the Olympics when its ace shooter Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore struck it on the fourth day at the 28th Olympic Games in Athens bringing good news to millions of sports fans back home.   

Shooter Rathore finished second in the final of the men's double-trap shooting event. Rathore scored 44 out of 50 in the final round. His score of 179 gave him the silver medal, India first individual silver ever at the Olympics.   

Rathore, a post-graduate in Strategic Studies and a batch topper at the Indian Military Academy, Dehra Dun, has had only honours to his credit. He graduated as Cadets Sergeant Major (CSM) of Echo Squadron, ’77 Course in December 1989 and was known as a ‘leader with a mission’.   

Rathore created history by helping India in getting its first individual event silver medal in the Athens Olympic since independence. He by his determination, single goal dedication, mental toughness has achieved the height of glory and won the heart of every citizen of the country.

Sports Career of Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore

Rathore has a long list of awards and recognition conferred upon him for both delivering exceptional services during his career as an army man and for being an outstanding sports man.

In the year 1990, when he was Major in Indian Army he was bestowed with ‘Sword of Honour’ award from Indian Military Academy.

As a sportsman, Rathore shot to fame when he won Olympic silver medal for the country in Men’s Double Trap event in 2004 Olympics held in Athens. In 2004 only, he won the world shooting championship in Sydney, Australia. His winning streak continued even further and in the year 2006, he won gold medal in Commonwealth Games held in Melbourne and another gold medal in world shooting championship held in Cairo in the same year.

He has won several prestigious awards and highest honours, such as Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, Arjuna Award, the Sikh Regiment Gold Medal for being the best sportsman at Indian Military Academy and ‘Ati Vishist Seva Medal’ for his exceptional services by the President of India. He has also been bestowed upon highly prestigious honour ‘Padma Shri’.

Rathore was chosen flag bearer for India during the 2006 Commonwealth Games held in Melbourne, Australia and Summer Olympics held in 2008 in Beijing China. He has won over 25 international medals in Double Trap championship held in different countries during 2002 to 2006.

Then and now:

Olympic preparation

What Rathore has said: “You must already have some who are at the top international level, and who you feel have the potential and age to do well in three years’ time and thereafter. Give these select few people the funding that they need, have somebody responsible for producing results out of them.” to in 2005

What he inherits: The ministry is spending more than before. The process of releasing funds, though, has been criticised with the athletes claiming it is cumbersome. At the same time, athletes too have been accused of not planning properly and wasting the funds made available to them.


What Rathore has said: Sports are a part of any countries ‘soft power’ projection… We have to rescue sports from administrative apathy and lethargy… blogpost in 2011 in reference to the sports code

What he inherits: A National Sports Development Code was introduced in 2011 and then in 2013, which most federations adhere to at least in principle. It puts a cap on an office-bearer’s age and tenure, brings them under RTI and ensures overall transparency. However, a revised bill was drafted earlier this year on the lines of the reccomendations made by the Lodha panel in the BCCI case. That is stuck in the high court.

Sportspersons in administration

What Rathore has said: Consider this, you go for an emergency operation in a hospital and find the team about to operate on you is that of MBA’s; would you let them operate just because they partly administer the hospital. The presence of sportspersons will provide the much-needed technical expertise… from his blog in 2011

What he inherits: Administrators across federations have been around for ages and are generally reluctant to include sportspersons in federations, saying they lack the understanding. When asked about the same after becoming the sports minister, Rathore said: “Running any institution requires a mix of experience, in terms of sport, and management. I would look for people who are good managers and have heart of a sportsman.”

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