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A Shot At History: My Obsessive Journey to Olympic Gold
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A Shot At History: My Obsessive Journey to Olympic Gold

4.36  ·  Rating details ·  342 Ratings  ·  52 Reviews
About the Book: A Shot at History This revised and updated edition brings the shooters life up to date and adds to the book his experience at the London Olympics in 2012. Abhinav Bindras journey to becoming the first Indian to win an individual Olympic gold, and the first Indian to win a world championship gold. It is a triumph born of a tragedy. Having driven himself to b ...more
Hardcover, First, 224 pages
Published August 24th 2011 by Harper Sport
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Jan 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is written in the style of Abhinav talking to you directly, even as he relentlessly practises, introspects, ruminates, reflects, commits, and carries us along with him on his quest. It was a brilliant journey to get into the mind of an Olympian, experiencing the constant tinkering, the minor improvements, the minuscule adjustments, the almost relentless fanaticism to constantly better oneself in the grim fight with the mind.

The book is only, and only, about his shooting. So there are no sc
Reya Kempley
Nov 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: autobiography, sports
An incredible chronicle, a revealing autobiographical story, an inspirational journey, and a moving personal and emotional account of the ups and downs of the path from a talented child with a hobby to a man who becomes the best in the world! The lengths he went to in terms of time and effort, attention to detail, experimentation, personal growth, plus the setbacks he had to overcome - this man is a champion. Bindra also offers the reader a peek into the shooting culture and community of India, ...more
Mar 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved reading this book every day. The book gives one a detailed picture of effort, resources and time invested by Abhinav in his Olympic gold pursuit. This is a must read for any sports lover or in fact, for anyone who wants to be a champion in his own field or a perfectionist. My mind went numb for a few minutes after reading about his preparations for Beijing 08 and what he endured emotionally. That gave me an insight on how I should plan my preparations. Simply inspiring!
Madhumita Bharde
Apr 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Bang on target. He "nailed" it. A perfect 10. A 10.9, if you will.

I don't know if it makes any sense - but it's such a high-octane book; I felt like all energy is being sapped off me.

How's that a problem, though? I wept through most of 'Gone with the Wind' and just wouldn't stop. I have had fits of laughter reading Marathi books when my parents thought I had gone insane. 'A Thousand Splendid Suns' shook me to the very core. Parts of 'The Hobbit' made me sweat in my cozy comfy bed...

It's for thes
Dec 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful book.
Sep 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
One of the best books I have ever read and I am so proud that I did (a little late but who cares).
I was just playing with the idea and happened to read the prologue and it sent shivers down my spine. This was different from any world that I was aware of and he is different from any human that I know of.

10m air rifle shooting is now something that I can talk about. The life of an Olympic champion is now one of the many different lives I have visited once.

This book has Abhinav talking to you direc
Aug 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
India's top sports writer with Abhinav Bindra has given us this master piece. Not many auto biographies are page turners but this one surely is. Most of the chapters are inspirational and absorbing reads. At the end of the book, you will get to know not just about the sport of shooting but also about how athletes handle success and defeats. It's is a must read by every Indian sports fan who wants to know about the plight of athletes participating in Olympics and the lack of organisational skills ...more
May 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
A shot at history is a short but intense account of Abhinav Bindra's quest for that elusive Olympic Gold. I'm an ardent fan of Rohit Brijnath's writing. His writing is not prose, it is elegant poetry disguised as prose. He weaves, in each chapter a fantastic, fast-paced story. So much so, that one could finish this book in a single sitting. The writing is lucid. It explains the intricacies of shooting and explains how a 5mm increase in the sole of a shooter's shoe is the difference between winni ...more
Dhaval Shah
Sep 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What a phenomenal book! For a follower of adrenaline injected sport of football, this came as a huge eye opener which has forever changed my perspectives of any Sports in general. First hand experience of what goes in making a Olympian Gold medalist couldn't have been put better except with having Rohit Brijnath on board. This a must read for anyone who is a follower of any sport.
Jul 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
[Rating: 4.5/5]

The lost medal of Athens gave me a hunger in Beijing; the won medal in Beijing brought me distraction in London. This sport, it's a funny business

The one Book I wanted to read from very long time, finally I kept this Book down with inexplicable feelings. This Book takes readers a journey of Proud Indian Sports shooter Abhinav Bindra from his Boyhood to Hair graying Olympian - This Book certainly deserves all the appraisal for what good reading gives.

I can't say what Particularly
Rahul VJ
May 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A different athlete's autobiography. Must read

Had heard about the book, but decided to read it when the legend Rahul Dravid wrote about how this book, by an athlete much younger than him, inspired him so much that it helped him to do more, at a time when he was considering retirement. Wow!

True to what I expected, the journey of Abhinav Bindra must be learned, most be studied in detail, just like he studied his sport and himself in detail. To what extent he went, to gain that minute little more,
Shraishth Jain
Mar 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A must-read for every Indian sports lover to show what it takes to achieve a medal at the Olympics. The book captures in great detail Bindra's inspiring journey to that gold that had been elusive for decades and what went on in his mind during the big matches. His drive, dedication and obsession are made very clear and are very inspiring for the reader. The last few chapters of the book are truly memorable - the Beijing final, the craziness after it and finally, Bindra's say on the state of Indi ...more
Oct 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everybody, but especially sport fans of Indian origin
Warning: this review is long.

If you want a short answer, it is that this book must be read. The longer one follows.

There are some things one falls in love with early in life, and these passions often become enduring companions for life. So far, in my not-so-old life, sport has been one such friend cum lover- over time seductive, consoling and heartbreaking in nearly equal measure. Sport, mind you, not only Indian sport, although I cheer for Indian athletes more enthusiastically than those repre
Jun 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Excellent book
Santosh Puranik
Oct 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
hands down the best autobiographies i have read.brilliantly written !this book is all around shooting but must read for anybody who is looking for any sort of inspiration.
Harsh Tibarewala
Brilliantly written book ! It shows how a sportsman turned into a disciplined scientist, yogi, many other forms in search of only 1 pursuit i.e. Olympic Gold Medal. He is not satisfied till he reaches that single minded objective on his target. Once he reaches that it also talks about his emptiness in his life.

Must read for those who love sports autobiography. Loved the style of writing !!
Rajat TWIT
Apr 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
What will be your views about a person, who has won the only individual Gold Medal in Summer Olympics from the second most populated country in the world, whose sports structure has been in shackles from time immemorial? If I may suggest, nothing less than a status of legend would do, and a legend he is, by all measures!
This auto-biography, whose lucid proses and witty language are further beautified by the co-author (Rohit Brijnath, who is a sports writer), works because of the close detailing
Anand kommana
Feb 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
it's one of the honest autobiography I have read & truly inspiring one !
Akhil Jain
Oct 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
My fav quotes:
• Shooting is worse, you cant even blame anyone, you cannot excuse failure as a rival’s inspired day, a referee’s error, a lucky bounce. Only one person is responsible for defeat. You.
• Hitting the bullseye isn’t enough. We have to hit a particular part of the bullseye.
• William Tell with his crossbow had to hit the apple, Abhinav had to hit the seed inside the core of that apple. All the time, every shot.
• My gun was like an extra limb.
• For many parents, children are the vehicles
Luke Carson
Nov 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was a fascinating story form the start that I found my self not wanting to put Down. After reading the first chapter I could see the exact same want a will that Abhinav had when he stared shooting at his young age that I had in my self when I started as well as what I still see in myself. The more I read I found the same mistakes that he made during practice and training that I made myself when I started to compeat and train. It was comical for me as he to recall story's form his coach tell ...more
Kashyap Maduri
Mar 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
If there is one word I would describe this book, it would be “honest”. Abhinav does a fine job of not over-dramatizing situations for the sake of building the story. At the same time he manages to keep the tempo and get you hooked to the book. All the anecdotes seem genuine and believable.
This book gives you a great perspective of shooting as a sport. This is a game which does not have the enormous fanfare that football, cricket or even tennis have. The closest thing that compares might be chess
Ashish K
Dec 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book is a must read for any sports buff to see and understand what it takes to be an olympic gold medallist in a country like ours where anything but positivity shrouds the games. abinav bindra here takes us through what he went through right through his childhood years adolescence and adulthood the sacrifices he made the failures he encountered the disappointing support he got from the indian authorities he does take an occasional dig at them But then gives them due credit when it comes to ...more
Manoj Bharathi
Nov 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
In my book, Rohit Brijnath is the biggest and brightest star of the Indian sports writing universe. His poetic stretches of prose describing Federer at his peak were my first introduction to how writing on sports can qualify as high literature. That speaks for the quality of the writing. About the content - his coauthor here is probably one of Indias least understood and appreciated sportsmen. Agassis 'open' was a very revealing look into a sportsmans psyche but this book is a peek into Bindras ...more
Ankur Vohra
Dec 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
What goes on in the making of a champion? This questions gets more important if the Champion comes from a sporting background and from a country where every 4 years we get started on the discussions about why we do so bad at Olympics- Get all worked up- only to forget all the fuss the moment the Olympics closing ceremony is done with.

The book is the story of a boy on how he went about to achieve the nearly impossible which is to win a 1st Individual Gold Medal in an Olympics by an Indian. He tal
Praveena D.M.
Jul 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fav, bio
Must read books for Indians. Abhinav is role model. His dedication and perseverance is no match. This is my first book about Olympics. Book gave an complete overview of Olympics, shooting, athlete's preparation and India's officials pro activeness in helping athletes to achieve their goals(laughs).
Abhinav dedicated a chapter to explain the problems of IOA & how IOA treat athletes. Shocking to read coaches are taking separate by making athletes to share rooms and 10 hour flight to busan takes
Swastik Agarwal
Aug 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
What an amazing story!

As a book, I found it a little too repetitive at times, but it's a great insight into the life of a champion shooter, the kind it takes to bring an Olympic Gold. It takes you from Abhinav's childhood, where his fascination with shooting starts, and how he meticulously prepares over the next few years, the disappointment at Athens, and finally the glory at Beijing.

Shooting is a very unique sport, and, as the book said, Abhinav is a very unique person. This book is an incredi
Harish raj
Mar 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
one of the finest sports biographies i ever read after "It's not about the bike" by lance armstrong. even though the book claims to be an autobiagraphy and told in first person, it is written by rohit brijnath. this book is an eye-opener and shows how much struggle indians in particular have to go through in their quest for an olympic gold unlike others who enjoy the best of facilities and huge amount of financial support. though it drags a bit in the middle, there too it makes a point: life is ...more
Sumanth J
Dec 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
First of all, I am a huge Abhinav Bindhra fan and felt extremely proud when he won the elusive Olympic Gold for India. Coming to the book, its a nice read for one time. Abhinav gives you some account of his childhood, his shooting career in general, the Bureaucracy in the Indian Sports Bodies.
The Olympics are explained very well. He clearly elucidates the feeling of losing and the pressures of an Olympic Athlete. The prepartion for Beijing Games is very well written and really inspiring. Some pl
Feb 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
It's really difficult to firstly be self aware. It's wholly another issue to communicate one's feelings and journey. But it's out of the world to transport the reader to your world in a way that he too understands the nuances of your deep emotions and challenging journey.

The book is firstly deeply inspirational. A journey of grit and determination always inspires. It also gives you pointers to your own improvement. But, most importantly it's Bindra's journey to India's first olympic gold that h
Piyush Routray
Jan 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Definite read for anyone who dreams to be better

The book shows the struggle of a world class athlete who chose to sweat for the ultimate glory. On the background the book gives a life lesson that there may be hundreds reason for failure, but there can be only one reason for success - faithful hard work.
Not only I respect Bindra more after this, but also Rathore, Narang, Bhagwat and many other Indian athletes who have pursued for a medal for India.
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