India has long been on the Olympic podium, but it hasn’t always been that way. In fact, at the 1900 Olympics, India won its first and only medal! Since then, India has racked up 35 medals in the Olympics, and this list will tell you about all of them. Take a look at the medals of India in Olympics or should I say, India’s proudest moments in the Olympics, from the beginning, till now!
It began with the pre-independence era (1900-1936)
Norman Pritchard won 2 silver medals, one in Men's 200m and the other one at 200m low hurdles at the Paris Olympics 1900.
Then after a long wait, the Indian hockey team led by Dhyan Chand won its first gold medal at the Olympics of Amsterdam 1928.
Following their second hockey gold medal in Los Angeles in 1932, the Indian team started becoming internationally recognized for its marvelous performance.
At the Berlin Olympics 1936, under the captaincy of Dhyan Chand, the Indian team earned a hat-trick in the highest medal of honor. i.e gold medal.
Medals of India in Olympics- 5 (2 silver, 3 gold)
Norman Pritchard Silver Men's 200m Paris 1900
Norman Pritchard Silver Men's 200m hurdles Paris 1900
Indian hockey team Gold Men's hockey Amsterdam 1928
Indian hockey team Gold Men's hockey Los Angeles 1932
Indian hockey team Gold Men's hockey Berlin 1936
A new age dawns upon us (1948-1960)
The Indian hockey team marked the London 1948 Olympics in history by returning to their post-independence home with a gold medal.
The following Indian contingent to Helsinki (Finland) returned home with no medals, but Inderjit Singh Kular earned India its first-ever swimming medal when he bagged a bronze for his participation in the Men's 100 meters Freestyle event.
The Indian hockey team brought home a gold medal.
This time the team had to settle for the silver medal due to its close defeat against Pakistan.
Medals of India in Olympics- 5 (3 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze)
Indian hockey team Gold Men's hockey London 1948
Indian hockey team Gold Men's hockey Helsinki 1952
KD Jadhav Bronze Men's wrestling Helsinki 1952
Indian hockey team Gold Men's hockey Melbourne 1956
Indian hockey team Silver Men's hockey Rome 1960
The Beginning Of Golden Era (1964 -1996)
For a country like India, which is one of five countries (including Australia, France, Great Britain, and Italy) to have never won an Olympic gold medal until recently, it was difficult to imagine a time when Indian athletes would triumph over their international counterparts. The men’s hockey team proved otherwise by winning back-to-back gold medals in Tokyo in 1964.
Mexico City 1968
In boxing as well, Indian athletes did particularly well with four out of six boxing events being taken home by Indians in Mexico City in 1968 alone. However, these were only mere glimpses of what was to come next.
The Indian hockey team won its second consecutive Olympic third position in Munich in 1972, bringing home the bronze medal.
Moscow 1980 and Atlanta 1996
Starting in 1980, India began its golden era under coach Raj Singh Dungarpur who led his wards to a total of nine medals including three golds in consecutive games between 1984 and 1996.
Medals of India in Olympics- 5 (2 gold, 3 bronze)
Indian hockey team Gold Men's hockey Tokyo 1964
Indian hockey team Bronze Men's hockey Mexico City 1968
Indian hockey team Bronze Men's hockey Munich 1972
Indian hockey team Gold Men's hockey Moscow 1980
Leander Paes Bronze Men's singles tennis Atlanta 1996
End of one decade, the start of another (2000-2008)
2000 Olympics saw India take home two silver medals and one bronze; Jai Bhagwan was part of India’s first-ever shooting medal (silver), while P.K. Sanjaya won silver in badminton, and Kynan Chenai got bronze for his gymnastics performance.
Both badminton medallists were first-timers on an Olympic podium; Chenai became India’s first male athlete to win a medal since 1980 when Ashok Kumar won bronze in boxing.
In 2004, Abhinav Bindra was added to that list with gold in men’s 10-meter air rifle shooting.
In 2008, Vijender Singh took home a bronze in boxing – India’s only other individual medal from 2000 onwards.
The 2008 Beijing Olympic Games marked India’s debut on a global platform, and we managed to bag six medals.
Medals of India in Olympics- 5 (1 gold, 1silver, 3 bronze)
Karnam Malleswari Bronze Women's weightlifting Sydney 2000
R S Rathore Silver Men's double trap shooting Athens 2004
Abhinav Bindra Gold Men's 10m air rifle shooting Beijing 2008
Vijender Singh Bronze Men's middleweight boxing Beijing 2008
Sushil Kumar Bronze Men's 66kg wrestling Beijing 2008
The Renaissance (2012-2020)
In 2012, Neeraj Chopra broke records with his javelin throw – he also gave India its first gold medal at any Youth Olympics event ever! Sushil Kumar and Vijay Kumar won a silver medal in men's 66kg wrestling and in men's 25m rapid pistol shooting respectively.
Whereas Saina Nehwal got a bronze medal in women's singles badminton and Mary Kom too bought home a bronze medal in women's flyweight boxing.
Yogeshwar Dutt in men's 60kg wrestling and Gagan Narang got a bronze medal in men's 10m air rifle shooting for India in London Olympics 2012.
And then came 2016 and Rio. The year saw a total of six medals for India; two silver and four bronze. Dipika Pallikal and Saurav Ghosal won silver in squash, while Sania Mirza (womens’ doubles) and P.V. Sindhu (womens’ singles) brought home bronze in tennis. Wrestler Sakshi Malik won bronze too, becoming only the fourth Indian woman to win an individual Olympic medal since independence.
Mirabai Chanu put the setback of Rio 2016 behind her to take silver in the women's 49kg division with a total lift of 202kg. It was her maiden Olympic medal.
Lovlina Borgohain won the bronze medal in the women's 69kg event at Tokyo 2020, after losing in the semi-finals against top seed Busenaz Surmeneli of Turkey. Lovlina Borgohain has secured a medal by defeating Chinese Taipei's Nien-Chin Chen in the quarter-finals.
PV Sindhu became the first and even the second Indian Olympian to win two independent Olympic medals, following Sushil Kumar. PV Sindhu won a bronze medal in the women's singles after defeating China's He Bing Jiao 21-13, 21-15. It was India's third medal in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, one more than in Rio 2016.
Ravi Kumar Dahiya finished second in the men's 57kg freestyle wrestling final. When Ravi Kumar Dahiya overcame Kazakhstan's Nurislam Sanayev in the semi-finals, he was assured of an Olympic medal. He was down 2-9 at one point before making an incredible comeback to win the gold medal.
The Indian men's hockey team has won a bronze medal for the first time in 41 years, after winning gold in 1980. After falling behind 3-1, India rallied to defeat Germany 5-4 to win the bronze medal. It is India's third Olympic bronze medal, following victories in 1968 and 1972, and their 12th overall.
Bajrang Punia, a wrestler, has become the third Indian rookie to win a medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Bajrang Punia won bronze in the men's 65kg collegiate wrestling playoff over Kazakhstan's Daulet Niyazbekov. It was India's sixth medal at the Tokyo Olympics.
With his gold in the men's javelin throw at Tokyo 2020, Neeraj Chopra became India's second individual Olympic winner after Abhinav Bindra. It was India's first-ever Olympic track and field medal. India's seventh medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics was their finest capture at a complete of the Games. Neeraj Chopra won the gold medal with a throw of 87.58 meters.
Medals of India in Olympics- 15 (1 gold, 5 silver, 9 bronze)
Sushil Kumar Silver Men's 66kg wrestling London 2012
Vijay Kumar Silver Men's 25m shooting London 2012
Saina Nehwal Bronze Women's badminton London 2012
Mary Kom Bronze Women's flyweight boxing London 2012
Yogeshwar Dutt Bronze Men's 60kg wrestling London 2012
Gagan Narang Bronze Men's 10m air rifle shooting London 2012
PV Sindhu Silver Women's singles badminton Rio 2016
Sakshi Malik Bronze Women's 58kg wrestling Rio 2016
Mirabai Chanu Silver Women's 49kg weightlifting Tokyo 2020
Lovlina Borgohain Bronze Women's boxing Tokyo 2020
PV Sindhu Bronze Women's singles badminton Tokyo 2020
Ravi Kumar Dahiya Silver Men's 57kg wrestling Tokyo 2020
Indian hockey team Bronze Men's hockey Tokyo 2020
Bajrang Punia Bronze Men's 65kg wrestling Tokyo 2020
Neeraj Chopra Gold Men's javelin throw Tokyo 2020
Was It Enough? Or Is There Hope For Better?
The 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games marked India’s debut on a global platform, and we managed to bag 7 medals in Olympics. While it might seem like a pretty significant amount, it pales when compared to countries like Australia (48), Germany (38), and China (51). Our nation can do better.
The question is if we have enough people who are willing to put in their blood, sweat, and tears for a shot at glory. If that’s your mindset, then congratulations! You’re already halfway there.
We hope this list of medals of India in Olympics increases at a massive rate every year.