Pullela Gopichand Biography
(The Second Indian to Win the All England Open Badminton Championship)
Birthday: November 16, 1973 (Scorpio)
Born In: Prakasam, Andhra Pradesh, India
Pullela Gopichand is an Indian former badminton player. In 2001, he won the All England Open Badminton Championships, becoming the second Indian to achieve this feat after Prakash Padukone. A recipient of the prestigious Arjuna award which is given to recognize outstanding achievement in national sports, he has also won several other accolades for his sporting achievements. He was interested in sports from a young age though early on his focus was more on cricket. It was only at the urging of his elder brother that he started playing badminton instead. Initially he played only for recreation but eventually started participating in, and winning competitions. He went on to serve as the captain of the Indian combined universities badminton team in 1990 and 1991 which made him realize that he wanted to pursue badminton on a professional level. His parents wanted him to become an engineer but he preserved and received training from the likes of Prakash Padukone and Ganguly Prasad. Following a successful career as a professional player he set up the Gopichand Badminton Academy to train upcoming Indian players of the sport. He was honored with the Padma Bhushan, India's third highest civilian award, in 2014.