Thursday, September 06, 2012

London 2012 Olympics

The Olympic games are a testament to the human spirit of preparing, competing, participating, winning, loosing and learning. Each game is a journey through a multitude of emotions ranging from anxiety, nervousness, happiness, anger, disappointment to frustration. Though the end result is measured in the form of “Gold”, “Silver” or “Bronze”, the participation and experience of being through all of the above amongst the world’s best would be the biggest “high” from this event.

My interest in sports has always been biased towards cricket – all formats (Tests, One Day Internationals and T20’s). My addiction to cricket also happened pretty late – as compared to my friends and cousins. The cricket fever hit me when i was just about to turn 16 – during the 1996 cricket world cup. It was a memorable win for Sri Lanka and all the memorable for me as i was robbed of critical preparatory hours before my final examination for Grade 10 (one of the crucial exams in the Indian schooling years).

Though i have remotely tried to follow “Tennis”, “Badminton” and “Football” to some extent, i have never erred towards tracking Boxing, Shooting, Wrestling or Athletic sports like Discus, Long distance Running. I am sure this would be true for most of the Indian folks.

Cricket has overshadowed other sports in India due to the big money into the sport. The year-long hectic schedules across formats and countries makes it lucrative for global sponsorships, players and for supporting infrastructure like commentators, cricket grounds, media etc. The fact that the BCCI (regulating body for Cricket in India) is privatised, further helps to “isolate” it from government intervention. Unfortunately for most of the other sports listed above, there is no such “privatisation” – which can explain the lack of money, sponsorship or infrastructural support to groom sportsmen across different discipline.

Inspite of facing odd’s like modest facilities, non lucrative remuneration, very limited or lack of support from state & central government or private sector it is heartening to see the spirit, tenacity and determination of Indian sportsperson (the non cricketers). They are giving their best shot to overcome all odds to seek glory in sports and gain international recognition.

My heart and mind goes out to

Gagan Narang (B)
Vijay Kumar, (S)
MC Mary Kom, (B)
Saina Nehwal (B)
Yogeshwar Dutt (B)
Sushil Kumar (S)

for their Olympic medals, making it arguably the best Olympics for India. It would be highly unfair to not mention Geeta Phagot (Wrestling), Vikas Gowda (Discus Throw), Poonia (Discus Throw), Devendro Singh (Boxing),Abhinav Bindra (Shooting), Tintu Luka (Running).These folks were very close to winning a medal and indeed made a mark in all their games. While the patriot may argue that we received the wrong end of the decision from the judges quiet often, the sportsmen will not like to give excuses. With only 4 more years to go for the next Olympics in Brazil, i would be very eager to see these Indians and more such sportsperson eagerly prepare for further glory for Olympic Medals for India. One of the initiatives called “Olympics Gold Quest” led by former Indian sports people has indeed been a hit as it has given us 3 medals so far in London 2012 Olympics.I hope this initiative continues for the better and continues to groom more sportspeople to compete internationally and bring home the medal. Fingers crossed and i hope the government, sports ministry wake up and do the needful to bring the level of support up for these players.

In the end, for junta like us who love Cricket, let us not only follow cricket, but also keep following other sports and encourage them. I am sure once we do this, the advertisers, sponsorships and other money would flow into these sports.

Thanks to our entire contingent representing India for giving us our best Olympics participation and win till date!

1 comment:

Vishius said...

Very heartfelt write up.
This years Olympic performance was a pleasant surprise given all the controversy before the games.