India and the Olympics

Its that time!The newspapers are full of the new champions who are very likely to win medals in the Olympics. In spite of the fact that no athlete has timings anywhere near the Olympic or world bests, the officials, parts of the media and of course crazy sport administrators keep insisting that so and so is bound to get a medal this year.I remember Anju Baby George. She came fourth in one World Athletics Meet, never came close to her timings after that, and everybody kept saying that she would win a medal. Not surprisingly she did not.
The only medals that have come our way, one apiece in each recent Olympics, have been sort of flukes, nobody expected it and it just happened. In this Olympics if we do get our one medal it will be like that, some sportsman who was not thought of at all might win a bronze and become the next great Hope of Indian sport.
It is ridiculous how puny achievements are played up as if they were world shaking achievements. Sania Mirza. She won a couple of matches against some big rivals and was touted as a possible Grand Slam winner. It seems a joke now seeing that she is now ranked 50 in the singles circuit.
What nobody seems to realise that watching sports and that too mainly cricket, does not qualify one to win in sport. It takes millions of competitors to produce one champion. If you ever have the misfortune of attending the Sports Days of any school you will notice that the races are run like the Musical Chairs session of a Office recreation club get together. Everybody is running after two extra marks in the higher secondary examinations. Nobody wants a life in sport. To some extent, cricket is an exception to this, but here also the gulf between the India team players and those below them is so large that several superannuated idiots still make the Test team.
Let me give you my prediction about the Olympics. India will win one medal. Probably it will be the bronze in tennis doubles. Check it out in two weeks time.

Comments

y-axis! said…
All that you wrote makes immense sense but iv seen sports days where matches were fought like wars. They all, eventually, revert to mugging up books instead of sweating it out on the field because an MBA gets paid better than a sportsman at the end of the day. Its true nobody wants a life in sports like how nobody wants it in defense services. With the easier options getting more importance its not all that easy to follow your heart in India, it needs to be extremely big to survive if still done. I wish more concrete steps were taken to make the light be seen at the end of such glorious service for the country.
y-axis! said…
Abhinav Bindra has just done it for us-congratulations! I am still hoping for more.

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