An Olympic rant

The most irritating thing about the Olympics is the reaction from so-called sports experts after the games. The same shit repeats itself after every edition. Some smartass takes out a list of medals per capita on which India always finishes last and people go on and on about how India this is shameful and how even arbit Central Asian countries beat us at the Olympics.

Seriously, if we really expect all our athletes to come back with medals – we are incredibly stupid. Most sports in the Olympics are not easily acessible in India – they are either esoteric and difficult to train for (dressage, eventing, fencing) or need expensive equipment or facilities (track cycling, rowing, sailing) which we simply do not have. So expecting India to win 30 medals is ridiculous.

We need to realize that we do not compete in most sports and off the stuff we do take part in, we are genuine medal contenders in at least half the places.

Lets not harp on about how the Deepika Kumari or Abhinav Bindra could not bring their A-games to London and accuse them of ‘not having the right mentality to win’- they are competing against some of the best in the world at the biggest stage in world sport – give them a break. Lets focus on what a huge success these games have been for India – an individual badminton medal in these days of Chinese domination is insane to say the least, at least 4 of our boxers were real contenders till they were done in by bad refereeing decisions, our wrestlers got us two medals, so did out shooters.

And lets not forget the excellent performances of Krishna Poonia, Vikas Gowda and Tinta Luka – think about it – they finished in the top 10 in the world at what they do. Being one of the best 10 in the world at anything is an amazing feat and needs to be appreciated. It takes a lot of courage and a bit of insanity to go into a career like boxing or wrestling or discuss throwing – if you win you get a  reward from your state government, if you come fourth you are called a failure by the media and go back to your life exactly as it was before you represented the country and finished fourth in the world – contrast that with the recognition and money cricketers get for being among the 100 best in India (not even the subcontinent!)

India will do decently well in the Olympics and with money and enthusiasm coming in slowly we will probably improve in Rio, but lets not worry about how well Kazakhstan or Grenada is doing and change what we can to do better next time. That is what the Olympics are all about.

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