We searched, searched and searched but there was always a hurdle that stopped us from reaching our goal! We come across obstacles in life that help us discover who we really are and helps us gain a whole new perspective on our goals and what we aspire. Something similar happened to us in India, 14,062 Kms away. A whole new perspective was put forth in front of a vast growing population in India. To all those who thought our Olympic troop were not worth the while and who were up to no good, Rio 2016 was a change in outlook. Rarely would we come across a moment in India when we didn’t win something and we still praised a person who lost. But she won that night. Dipa Karmakar was one of the finest examples of this feat. Though she came fourth there were tears of joy in the eyes of the people back home as well. Initially, an India we knew as kids saw burning of effigies across condemning a loss, pelting of stones when we lost a world cup or a hockey tournament. Time is the healer and brings about changes.
When the going got tough, Sakshi Malik, made us proud by bringing home the bronze medal which added a feather to the cap of the Indians at the Olympics. Another point was proven on the night of August 19, 2016 when PV Sindhu went ahead to grab a silver spot at Rio 2016. This time it was only women who bagged medals for India. We did see a lot of reactions on social media and they were amazing. Commenting on these we saw a great reaction from Virender Sehwag who off late is known for his wit on twitter pulling the legs of his fellow colleagues as well as comments on the current issues. He brought to light the advantages of not killing a girl child. This comment had tremendous support from Amitabh Bachchan on Twitter and many others.
Winning even a single medal at the Olympics has always been a big deal for us Indians. Remembering the phase in 2004 when Major. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore grabbed a silver medal for shooting, Abhinav Bindra with the Gold after him. But we are yet to witness the aura of a Michael Phelps or an Usain Bolt medal grabbing spree in India. That’s not only going to boost the confidence of youngsters but also the administering committee. Taking BCCI as an example, the Indian Cricket Team grew stronger by the years and so did the association managing them. If that’s the case with respect to other managing committees, then wonders can be created on our soil. We already have them, just not being promoted well.
Indian women at the Olympics were always a good hope for the country. Over the past decade we have seen some of the best come in. Karnam Malleshwari, Mary Kom, Anju Bobby George, PT Usha, Deepika Kumari, Saina Nehwal and our current favorite Aditi Ashok who is the youngest golfer in India. They have kept our hopes and have excelled in fields. They changed the way the game is played. A change in this will hopefully change the mindsets of the Sports Committees operating in India. Its only when two medals were confirmed when we realized the worth. We can do much better. But what about those ones who created and made a mark a decade ago, those weightlifters, boxers, athletes or maybe it’s just the power of social media that has made us realize every bit of what we were wrong and unfair about.
Indians indeed excel – We do excel at forums like the Commonwealth Games, Asian Games etc. and it was in Rio 2016 that we Indians gained confidence in our sports personalities! This Olympics gave us a touch of sugar to add on to the good memories and a bit of lemon to that makes us understand that we can be the best. Only at 14000 kilometers, a continent away, a billion people away we found ourselves, we realized that we deserve much more.