Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Olympics : Waiting for the Glory...(sigh)

Just ONE more day for the Olympics - one of the greatest sporting event of the world. To bring glory in Olympics is one of the highest honor that a sportsman or sportswoman can achieve for his/her country. For most of them at least, sports is the only cause for existence. Their commitments and their country's support ensures that they succeed in their attempts. When the right amount of passion is put in to it, scooping a bucketful of medals comes as no surprise. When most big countries eagerly await their countries to top the list, we wait for ours to at least come up on the list....
Anyway, for us Indians, as usual its time just to pray for at least ONE or TWO medals. Even a bronze will do. We will make them a hero, give them a couple of awards, a good government house and job ( unless they already have all that ) and a few days of fame. End of story. And then what? Soon the Olympian will be lost from the memories ( like many have ), till some news comes up that he/she is dead. And what about the sport itself? Any attempts to further improve the sport and the player? Any research in to developing and popularizing it? I hardly think so... We just like to sit on our laurels till it hurts our butts ( like failing miserably in Hockey ).
I think we have abused the phrase "Its not winning or losing that matters, but how you play the Game". It seems more emphasis has been laid to the first half, while the second has been a bit misinterpreted. The second phrase, does not only mean playing fair and being a good sportsman, it also implies to give it your BEST. And are we giving it our best?? From our One Billion plus population, cant we pick up and train at least a few champions? When smaller countries are able to compete far better than us, then why cant we? In spite of the odds some stars do shine, but are they well supported and encouraged? Are they given enough facilities to be trained and a decent infrastructure to sharpen their skills? Mostly they don't get all that. They have to struggle to get the sponsors on their own or pay from their own pockets. Most funds that do get sanctioned, either ends up in some bureaucrat's pocket or is left unspent.

And don't even get me started on all the squabbles and the politics involved between the Federation and the players. Its really disgusting to know that it takes political pressure and bribes to make it to the world stage rather than their own skills. There is always some fiasco regarding this, each time a major sporting event is held. Charges of doping are a disgrace too. But are the players to be blamed? Or is their ignorance to these facts, that lands them in trouble? Most atheletes do come from really impoverished and less educated backgrounds. They just might not know what to eat and what not to. Those who train and coach them should be equally held responsible for this.

Do we not have the talent and the resources needed? Yes we have all that, but the intent is not there. That is the whole problem. If India has to be a Super power then sports is as vital as economy or political influence. Look at all the current super powers. All will have some recognition in major sporting events. Just look at China. An emerging power and India's closest competitor in the race. Not only do they make cheap consumer products, but also want to be the numero uno  in everything else that they do. Their government has been spending a lot on their athletes and their performance will definitely show this. They are eager to host the games, as well as prove a point against the best of the best, by beating them.

Sports is not just a leisure activity or just an entertainment. Its an opportunity to let the world notice you. Once even Adolf Hitler felt that losing the finals of hockey to the Indians at the 1936 Olympics, was disgraceful to the mighty Germans. During the Cold war, for the US and USSR, such sporting events were a bloodless method to show superiority. Though the significance of the games might not be so much today, but still it makes the world rise up and respect us... if not at least our National Anthem is played in front of the whole world to take notice. Isn't that a reason enough....??


Visu said...

Olympics is back.. I always like watching those plethora of events.
But as always, every Indian would expect atleast a silver medal and thankfully, we get a couple or more. :)
But seriously, we DO have more talents, they are not encouraged. This is a country obsessed with Cricket and nothing else.(Oh and also Amithab). No funds, or perhaps No sufficient funds from the Govt. But who cares? I mean, seriously, how many of us really care of them. Instead we throw stones on Dada's house for his abysmal performance. Whatever..
Huh.. As said, Coubertin's misinterpreted. Darn..


Bhargavi said...

The media plays a big role here.. the spotlight is always on cricket or bollywood(the 'who' is dating 'who' stuff..)
If the atheletes get proper guidance, sponsor, motivation.. if politics keeps itself away from sports.. if the athelets are taught the 'sports ethics'(so that cases like doping can be avoided).. if we people learn to applaude for other sports also.. then may be India will shine in olympics!

'at least our National Anthem is played in front of the whole world to take notice. Isn't that a reason enough....??'

yep n like most other Indians i would also sit at home n 'PRAY atleast for one or two medals'
waiting for the glory... (sigh)
Hoping for the best to happen! :)

Philip Kingsley said...

Too late to see this Post!!!

Anyway... In china everyone works for a living... but in India u can see that many people try to earn illegally.. ie begging, stealing, etc
and th egovt is also not much interested in these!!!

Lets See India in 2020

Aslam said...

Well... not very sure about how things are in China...

Only we have to change things that are here, if we want to see positive results by 2020...
How about training your kids to be sprinters, or boxers, or tennis players, instead of engineers, doctors or bankers...!

How about that..??

Visu said...

Its easy as said than done. :)