Indian track and field legend Milkha Singh, also known as "The Flying Sikh,” was orphaned during the Partition of India. The former army man won four Asian Games gold medals. He also competed in the 1956, 1960, and 1964 Summer Olympics, finishing fourth in the 400-meter event in 1960.
Considered one of the greatest athletes India has ever produced, P. T. Usha is often called the Queen of Indian track and field. She has won 14 gold medals throughout her illustrious career. She missed out on the bronze medal at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics by a hundredth of a second.
Santhi Soundarajan grew up amid extreme poverty in a remote Tamil Nadu village in India. The daughter of brick-kiln laborers, she eventually stepped into track and field. In spite of winning a silver medal at the 2006 Doha Asian Games, she was disqualified for failing a sex test.
Former Indian athlete Anju Bobby George created history when she became the only Indian to win a World Championship medal in athletics. She excelled in long jump, high jump, relay, and hurdles. The two-time Olympian and Padma Shri winner was born with a single kidney, which she found out in 2001.
Sport shooter Vijay Kumar is best known for his silver medal win at the 2012 London Olympics and his five Commonwealth gold medals. The Padma Shri awardee is the son of an Indian Army subedar from Himachal and had taken up shooting after being drawn to his father’s guns in childhood.
Jimmy George was one of the greatest Indian volleyball players and is best remembered for his bronze medal win at the 1986 Seoul Asian Games. At 21, he became the youngest volleyball player to be awarded an Arjuna Award. He also played for Italian clubs but died in an accident at age 32.
Padma Shri- and Arjuna Award-winning discus thrower Krishna Poonia created history when she became the first Indian discus thrower to qualify for the Olympic finals. Apart from a Commonwealth gold, she also has two Asian Games bronze medals in her kitty. She is now a Congress Party MLA.
Shital Mahajan is an Indian skydiver and extreme sportsperson. In 2006, Mahajan became the first woman to jump over the South Pole. She is also the youngest female jumper to jump over both the South and North Poles. She is also the first Indian female to perform a wingsuit jump. In 2011, she was honored with the Padma Shri Award.