Other Sports

‘Dealing with success was the hardest time in my life’

Different story: Abhinav Bindra said success rendered him directionless.  

Shooter Abhinav Bindra on Wednesday said that he had encountered mental health issues right after winning the 10m air rifle gold medal at the Beijing Games in 2008.

Bindra, the only Indian to win an individual gold in the Olympics, said just after that moment of celebration, he felt a “void”. He also said he wanted to quit shooting after the feat.

Asked whether he faced mental health issues, Bindra said: “I had a long career in sport, with many ups and downs. It’s ironic my biggest mental crisis in life came when I actually succeeded. A lot of people talked about dealing with failure, but for me, dealing with success was probably the hardest time in my life.

“Up until Beijing where I had my greatest victory, I had trained for 16 years of life with a singular goal and singular obsession that I wanted to win gold medal at the Olympics.

Was depressed and lost

“One fine day, this dream, the goal was achieved but it created a very large void in my life. I think to me that was very challenging. I was depressed and was lost. I did not know what to do with my life and what to do next. That was probably the toughest moment of my life,” said the 38-year-old.

“My energies were depleted. It took a lot out of me to win. But more than anything, when you are goalless, you are listless in your life. The beauty of having goals in life is that it drives you and when that is lost you lose a lot of meaning in life... sometimes we get lured by an equation that gold medal equals happiness. That is false and we need to reverse that equation and make it as happiness equals gold medal,” he said.


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Printable version | Jun 21, 2021 7:40:27 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/dealing-with-success-was-the-hardest-time-in-my-life/article34552594.ece

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