We are doing what we are best at! Beating the chest over the spilt milk and engaging in endless debates. You guessed it right. The debacle of Rio Olympics stares at the face of world’s one sixth population with just two medals that too mostly due to individual effort and hard work. Ever since a child fond of sports, the glories of Olympics had drawn me to the games and watch those with an interest like no other. The official assurances of medals before every event were like an assurance of the official machinery fully geared up to meet the calamities like floods, drought and other disasters.
We find it hard to acknowledge that we are not a sporting nation in the sense one is supposed to be. The only game the country plays is Cricket for which there is never a drought of funds. All other sports pale into insignificance. Generations have only played Ludo and Snake and Ladder at home when it comes to sports.
The pleasure of watching Usian Bolt lifting the Gold three times in Rio and repeating the feat for the third time since Beijing and London Olympics was exhilarating. Jamaica had the unique distinction of producing the fastest man Usian Bolt and Eliane Thompson(woman) on the earth, despite its meager GDP. In fact the number of times the runners from countries like Nigeria, Kenya and Ethopia crashed the hopes of much richer and bigger nations, was a perfect example of what dedication is all about and what matters is grooming and encouraging the sportsmen.US team found it hard to digest that their team was technically disqualified in 4x100m relay despite a great performance. The cliff hanger suspense of watching Brazil defeat Germany in ‘penalty shootout’ finals of Football and likewise Argentina beating mighty Belgian team in the Hockey finals showed the mettle of teams participating in these events. Santiago Lange of Argentina won the Gold medal in Sailing , despite having lost one lung to Cancer last year at the age of 54!There could be no better example of grit and determination when age becomes just a number.
The sensational Simon Biles and Michael Phelps set the Olympic stage on fire with their soul alleviating performances. Born to parents with a history of drug abuse, Simon was picked up early and groomed into a sensational artistic gymnast who won four gold medals and a bronze. Joseph Schooling of Singapore who met his mentor Michael Philips when he was 10 year old, beat him at his own game of Swimming in 100m Butterfly event. He got the first ever Gold medal for Singapore at the age of 21, pushing his mentor Michael Phelps to Silver medal.
The Rio Olympics has been an event not to be missed for the number of records that were broken and exhibition of the finest sports that one can think of. The true sportsmanship was amply exhibited when the losers gracefully hugged the ones who won. Carolina Marin who defeated PV Sindhu in the Women’s Badminton Final was hugged by Sindhu and she in turn was magnanimous to hug even Gopinath the Indian coach after the win. It is rare to see such humane gestures in today’s cut throat world. Such events are a reminder that excellence in any field is what ultimately pays dividends and all else gets lost in oblivion
PS: Image Kind Courtesy Google