Khashaba Jadhav was a great wrestler and India’s first individual Olympic medallist. He won a bronze medal at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics. Jadhav was the son of Dadasaheb Jadhav, a good wresder himself.
His interest in wrestiing started very early. Wrestling was not the only sport that he excelled in. Weightlifting, swimming, running and hammer-throw were some of the other sports he graced with amazing ease.
Unfortunately, Jadhav did not get enough financial help from the government. He had to beg for money to travel to Helsinki. Maharaja of Kolhapur funded Jadhav’s trip to London for the 1948 Games. Khardikar, Principal of the Rajaram College, where Jadhav studied, mortgaged his home for Rs. 7,000 to send his former student to the Olympics.
Returning from Helsinki, Jadhav became a hero. He was felicitated in many functions. He was posthumously awarded the Chhatrapati Shivaji award. He died in 1984 in a tragic motorcycle accident.