India's only individual gold medallist at the Olympic Games, rifle marksman Abhinav Bindra complimented badminton player PV Sindhu on her achievement of becoming the first woman sportsperson from the country to win two Olympic medals, saying it was a "rare" accomplishment and that the "next generation of athletes are lucky to have a role model like her".
In a letter posted on social media, Bindra, winner of the 10m air rifle gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, said: "Many congratulations on winning the bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics 2020. Very few athletes from our nation have been fortunate enough to achieve what you have achieved. In fact, most sporting careers all over the world end without an Olympic medal, even after years and years spent obsessing over winning the shiny little round object.
"This alone shows just how rare it is to accomplish such a feat, and just how insane one has to be to even dream of it. You are already a Double Olympic Medallist! However, it is days like these and triumphs such as yours that push us all to keep dreaming of the impossible," said Bindra in his letter after Sindhu won the bronze by defeating China's He Bingjao 21-13, 21-15 on Sunday.
"The next generation of athletes are lucky to have got a role model in you who is an embodiment of the virtues of practice and perseverance, the two qualities one needs in abundance in order to thrive in elite competitions.
"I would like to appreciate the unflinching support and encouragement that would have been provided by your family, friends, and coaching staff, as you undertook this journey to become the best. It can get very isolating as an athlete competing at the elite level, and I cannot stress enough the importance of people who are always standing in your corner, quietly infecting you with their warmth and belief even when you are busy harping over dispiriting defeats.
"Your medal perfectly encapsulates the power of sport and how it continues to inspire us all through its incorruptible spirit of togetherness. Yours is a rousing story that keeps us going amidst all the destruction created by the ongoing pandemic. The toughest of times blesses us with the most formidable of characters, and you certainly are one. I thank you for the joy you've brought to the nation, and hope you continue to spread the values of Olympism and carry out your responsibilities as an Olympic medallist with the same energy and attitude with which you dazzled us all in Tokyo," wrote Bindra.