There are people who strive to be the best version of themselves, and then there are some who inspire others to be better. Former badminton plyer for India, Pullela Gopichand has been both an aspirer and an inspiration to many. Having achieved the All England Open Badminton Championship in the year 2001, he was the second to receive the honour, with Prakash Padukone being the first. He currently heads the Indian Badminton team as the Chief National Coach. Along with being a national coach, he also runs the academy he founded, called the Gopichand Badminton Academy, for those aspiring to be badminton players. Pullela Gopichand has received the love and respect of the nation not only all his wins for the country during his playing career but also for coaching P. V. Sindhu, who brought pride to the nation during the 2016 Olympics by winning a silver medal. Gopichand has also won several awards over the years. He was awarded the Arjuna Award in the year 1999, followed by the Dronacharya Award in the year 2009, and the third highest award a civilian can receive in India – the Padma Bhushan – in the year 2014.
Gopichand won his first title through the National Badminton Championship in the year 1996, and later won the title five consecutive times until the year 2000. In 1998, he went on to win a silver and two gold medals at the Indian National Games. The badminton tournament held by SAARC in 1996, he won the gold and managed to defend his title at the Colombo game held in 1997. Further, the Commonwealth Games of 1998 saw his team win a silver medal along with him winning a bronze in the men’s singles. Pullela Gopichand eventually retired from his career of playing sports and established the Gopichand Badminton Academy. This academy founded by him has seen several badminton players being mentored to give their best as badminton players. Some of these include P. V. Sindhu. Gurusai Datt, Saina Nehwal, Arundhati Pantawane, Srikanth Kidambi, Arun Vishnu, and Parupalli Kashyap.
His dedication to being the best has made him a renowned figure in the field of sports throughout the world and given India the chance to be represented globally where badminton as a sport is concerned. After he underwent a surgery on his knee in 1994, Gopichand struggled a year to begin walking properly. Two years after the surgery, he was on the path to recovery through the Art of Living sessions. It was after this recovery, in the year of 2001, that he achieved what only Prakash Padukone had before him – winning the All England Open Badminton Championship, making him the second Indian to have achieved this.
With the launch of his academy in 2008, in the city of Hyderabad, Gopichand has helped mentor and train some of the best champions the nation has seen. This also includes the silver medallist of the Rio Olympics 2016, P. V. Sindhu. Another champion mentored by him is Saina Nehwal, who won the Bronze medal in the London Olympics 2012. He is now determined to give the athletes now working towards winning accolades for the country his inputs, the best winning strategies, his incredible knowledge, and more.
Mr. Gopichand talks take his audience through his life journey, his career, all of the lessons he learnt through the ups and downs in life and through his success. He beautifully uses his experience to motive the audience through his speeches, giving them the encouragement to witness a transformation in their own lives. His experience while training as a coach also serves as a lesson to persevere and strive for success, whether in a sports career, in one’s professional life, or in business. The session you attend will give you an insight on the philosophies that Mr. Gopichand believes in, his methods of coaching through identification and nurturing of talent, and his influence in helping people change for the better.
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