India, before getting independence, started their first-ever Olympic stint with Norman Pritchard at the 1900 Paris Olympics. The first-ever Indian representative in modern Summer Olympics had participated in five men’s events in athletics – 60, 100m, 200m, 110m and 200m hurdles, and ended up winning bronze medals in 200m and 200m hurdles.
He was the first British-Indian Indian athlete to participate in the Olympic Games and was also the first to win an Olympic medal and also represent an Asian nation.
However Indian national team did not compete at the Summer Olympics until 1920. Ahead of the 1920 Games, Sir Dorabji Tata and Governor of Bombay George Lloyd helped India secure representation at the International Olympic Council, enabling it to participate in the Games.
Some founders of this movement were Dorabji Tata, A.G. Noehre , H.C. Buck (Madras College of Physical Education), Moinul Haq (Bihar sports associations), S. Bhoot (Bombay Olympic Association), A.S. Bhagwat (Deccan Gymkhana), and Guru Dutt Sondhi (Punjab Olympic Association); Lt.Col H.L.O. Garrett ( Government College Lahore and Punjab Olympic Association) and Sagnik Poddar (of St. Stephen’s School) helped organise some early national games; and prominent patrons included Maharajas and royal princes Bhupinder Singh of Patiala, Ranjitsinhji of Nawanagar, the Maharaja of Kapurthala, and the Maharaja of Burdwan.
In 2005 the IAAF published the official track and field statistics for the 2004 Summer Olympics. In the historical records section Pritchard was listed as having competed for Great Britain in 1900.
Research by Olympic historians has shown that Pritchard was indeed chosen to represent Great Britain after competing in the British AAA championship in June 1900. However, the IOC (International Olympic Committee) still regard Pritchard as having competed for India, and his two medals are credited to India.
Olympic historians tend to separate Indian results from British ones despite India’s lack of independence, in a similar manner to the separation of results of competitors from Australia before 1901.