Colonel Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore named as the new Sports Minister of India and Olympic Gold Medalist Abhinav Bindra expressed his happiness at Rathore’s appointment. The Indian politician and a former professional shooter while competing in a double trap event won a silver medal at the 2004 Olympic Games. His career spanned over a decade, and during that period, Rathore won several medals at the Commonwealth and Asian Games. He also received the Padma Shri Award in 2005.
He was a commissioned officer in the Grenadiers regiment of the Indian army before retiring as a colonel in 2013. After his retirement from Army and professional shooting, he became the member of Parliament for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 2014. In November 2014 Rathore was made the Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting.
Born in Jaisalmer (Rajasthan), Rathore belongs to a Rajput descendant of First King of Bikaner Rao Bikaji. He graduated in the 77th course of the Prestigious National Defence Academy. After graduating, Rathore went to the Indian Military Academy where he was awarded the Sword of Honour for the best all-round Gentleman Cadet. Rathore also bagged the Sikh Regiment Gold Medal which is awarded to the best sportsman of the course.
During his career in the Indian Army, Rathore served in Jammu and Kashmir where he was part of the counter-terrorist operations. His regiment was awarded the Army Chief’s Citation and the government of Jammu & Kashmir.
At the Commonwealth Games in 2002, Rathore won a Gold Medal at the Commonwealth Games where he set a new record with 192 targets out of 200 targets which still stands intact. He also went on to defend his Commonwealth Gold Medal at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games in 2006. He also won two gold medals in two World Shooting Championships. One at Syndey in 2004 and Cairo in 2006.