The Sikkim-born archer, Tarundeep Rai will be representing India in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. The trio of Tarundeep Rai, Atanu Das, Pravin Jadhav qualified for the individual, as well as the team event at the Tokyo Olympics. 

Tarundeep Rai has been a part of two Olympic games already, in 2004 and 2012. At 2004 he was part of the Athens Olympic Games and in 2012 it was the London Olympics. Tarundeep Rai is one of the most celebrated Archers in India because he has been consistently performing on the big stages in the past two decades. He has two World Championships Silver Medals and also two Bronze medals at Asian Archery Championships in 2005 and 2019, in addition to two medals at Asian Games.

We feel extremely lucky to have had the opportunity to have a conversation with him and understand what's going through his mind as he prepares for what we can call one of the most exhilarating experiences of an Olympian's life. 

How did Archery start for you as a sport?

I started practicing Archery from army boys sports company 58 GTC Shillong in the year 1997 when I was 13 yrs old. I was very inspired by the Mahabharata and the Ramayana. Watching the Gods shooting arrows, the 13-year-old me built aspirations early on in life. 

Tarundeep Rai made his debut way back in 2003 at the Asian Archery Championship, which was held in Yangon, Myanmar.

Did you always dream of qualifying for the Olympics? 

Yes of course every sportsperson dreams of qualifying for the Olympics but now my aspiration for Tokyo is to win a medal in the Olympics, not just qualify. 

What did you do differently in terms of training and practicing for the Olympics?

We all know the Olympics is the biggest event in the world so most of my time is spent in training, learning, and trying to better myself in the practice. But I try to focus a lot on learning how to calm down and not let the pressure get to me.

What have been your biggest achievements so far?

Asian Games silver Medal individual event.

How did Tokyo happen for you? 

I along with Atanu Das and Pravin Jadhav qualified for the Tokyo Olympics after winning a silver medal in the Archery World Championship in Denbosch Netherlands in 2019. From that day onward I started my training both physically and mentally, preparing myself for Tokyo

Who is Tarundeep Rai outside of Archery?

Just a normal person. I love to sing, it's at the top of my list when it comes to hobbies. I also enjoy spending time with my friends and family.  

How are you feeling about Tokyo and what are your biggest aspirations?

I am actually quite excited this time as we have a very good team with the potential to win a medal

What are your hopes for the development of archery as a sport in India?

Archery as a sport will automatically develop and have more visibility as soon as we win some medals in the Olympic games. 

Any words of advice for younger archers?

It's a lifetime opportunity for you to make your country proud. Hard work but smart work.
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