Meet the Soldier, Olympian & Politician – Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore

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Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore

The Jack of all trades-Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore is one of India’s most versatile personality who has given the nation many moments to be proud of. He is a former Indian shooter who acquired fame after winning the Silver Medal in Men’s Double Trap (2004 Summer Olympics) in Athens. He wanted to join the Indian Army. Now he is a retired Indian Army Soldier and is currently serving as a Cabinet minister with an independent charge for the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. He has never stopped trying to redefine his position and worked hard on achieving whatever he wished for. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore’s life is an inspiration to many people proving that you are not defined by one profession. Let’s read through the amazing life of Colonel Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore.

“Once an Armyman, always an Armyman.”


Birthdate29 January 1970 
BirthplaceJaisalmer, Rajasthan
Age50 Years
ParentsColonel Lakshman Singh Rathore (Retd) and Manju Rathore
ProfessionsOlympic medallist, Indian politician, and a retired Indian Army officer
Battles/warsKargil War

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Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore - Soldier
Image Source: Oneindia

Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore was born in Jaisalmer and was an army brat. His father- Colonel Lakshman Singh Rathore was a retired army man who inculcated patriotic values in Rajyavardhan since childhood. He graduated from the National Defense Academy where he earned his B. A degree in Instructor-Weapons (MMG, AGL, Small Arms) and Grading Tactics. He then went on to join the Indian Military Academy. 

Shooting And Military Career

Rajyavardhan was always a sports enthusiast and was athletic as a kid. He knew the importance of sports in a students life.  Before progressing in his fervour for shooting, he was passionate about cricket and even earned a spot in the Madhya Pradesh Ranji Trophy team. After switching between sports, he finally found his likeness for shooting at the NDA. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore soon joined the Indian Military Academy posted in Jammu and Kashmir during India’s Kargil War operation. He was trained and polished with skills like concentration, precision, and determination required for accurate shooting. 

Joining and working in the army was surely a major leap for Rajyavardhan Rathore because it taught him the various techniques and styles for precise shooting. He then decided on taking shooting as a sport in 1998 when the army formed a team where he made a roaring impact. 

“I am indebted to the Indian Army, from my birth till now; I have grown and imbibed the indomitable spirit of this fighting force.”

Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore finally announced his arrival at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester and where he bought gold in India and set a Games record of 192 which is unchanged to this day. The army man continued winning hearts and made a strong impression by ending a 40-year-long wait for India by winning a bronze at the 2003 World Championships.

Rajyavardhan Rathore worked and prepared intensely before the Athens 2004 Olympics under the guidance of Luca Marini (former world champion) and Russell Mark (Olympic gold medallist). He even moved to Italy to work closely with his gun manufacturer Mauro Perazzi. 

He went on to rank fifth at Athens but eventually made it to the finals. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore’s strong determination and roaring passion won him a silver, India’s first Olympic shooting medal. It helped pave a new way of the sport in India. After many euphoric achievements, Rathore won his first World Cup gold at Cairo and won bronze at Granada in the same year.

Political career

After enjoying multiple accolades and trophies for his unceasing determination, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore joined the  Bharatiya Janata Party in September 2013 after retiring from the Indian Army. In the 2014 Lok Sabha election, he was elected as the Member of Parliament from the  Jaipur Rural Lok Sabha constituency. 

Soldier and Army man - Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore
Image Source: The Economic Times

On 9 November 2014, he was sworn-in as the Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting under Narendra Modi’s government. Furthermore, on 3 September 2017, he was appointed as the Minister of Sports. In May 2018, he became Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting.

“In sports, I was representing my country, but in politics I represent people directly. I have always lived with a cause. In army, it was the existence of the sanctity of nation and the men I was commanding, and in sports, it was the pride of my country, while in politics, it is the rights of citizens I am fighting for.”

Major Achievements

These are some of the major achievements and awards won by Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore that turned heads across the globe:

  • He was the first Indian shooter to win a silver medal (Men’s Double Trap Shooting at the Olympic Games) 
  • He won a Silver Medal in Men’s Double Trap Shooting in 2004 (Athens Olympic Games)
  • He won a Gold Medal in Double trap individual event- Commonwealth Games of 2002 and 2006
  • He was awarded the Padma Shri in 2005.
  • He won four Gold Medals each in the Double trap individual event – Asian Clay Target Championships (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006.)
  • He was honoured with the Arjuna Award in 2003.
  • He won the Khel Ratna Award in 2004.

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This was the life of Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore who never stopped exploring and achieved his goals. Are you inspired to begin a career in sports? Get in touch with our experts at Leverage Edu and begin your dream career. Sign up for a free session today!

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