The best part of Rio Olympics for India per se is that a large contingent of Indian population is tracking the performance of the largest ever contingent sent

India Olympics 2016for Olympics. The bad news is there is no good news so far regarding medals. Majority of the medal contenders have crashed out, a few of them in a very abysmal fashion.

The silver lining – Dipa Karmarkar, Wrestling, Badminton singles, Tennis mixed doubles and Boxing.

Yes, there are obvious reasons of non-qualification.

(Please note that I am refraining from usage of words like expectations, efforts or performance for that matter).

  1. Lackadaisical attitude of Indians, which automatically implies parents towards sports and sports as a career for their kids
  2. Infrastructure or rather the lack of it. We have all experienced it during our formative years and the scenario has bettered but to a certain extent.
  3. Nation obsessed with cricket.
  4. Red tapism and inept administration hampering the talent of potential Olympic aspirants.
  5. Social stigma especially for female sports persons.

The above five are the major reasons why we are where we are today at Rio Olympics. However, when I look at a certain set of data then these reasons are more applicable for previous debacles at Olympics. They are not really representing the failures of achieving a medal. Let me share the data or rather a few examples.

Jitu Rai, world number three in 50m pistol event and a gold medallist at Asian games, World Cup, Commonwealth games could not make the finals. (12th in the qualification round)

Deepika Kumari, former world no. 1 archer (currently ranked world no, 5) crashed out in pre-quarterfinal eliminations. She lost in straight sets 0 -6.

Dutee Chand, the national record holder in women’s 100m race (11.33 secs) failed to qualify for semi-finals with a timing of 11.69 secs.

So, while the hoi polloi is applauding the efforts and the incredible success story of all them, the weak performances at the highest level is baffling. The claps of all cannot mute the sound of one word, which is failure. I have no doubt regarding the potential of any of the participants, neither am I discrediting them of the hard work, adversities and obstacles that they had to face to reach this level. Their journey to reach this level is worth a “Sultan” blockbuster and much more.

However, when they have and could have done better and yet ended up tamely perplexes me. The 5 reasons don’t hold true anymore especially for these participants. And I raise the following questions for which I seek answers. And these questions are not meant for them but for all of us, in a metaphorical way of thinking.

  1. Do we Indians in general fail to hold on to our nerves at the big stage?
  2. There was wind issue and other logistic issues for some of the participants. Does that imply that we do not prepare or rather practice in advance for such emergencies?
  3. Do we get carried away by the media hype? Does success make us temporarily blind?
  4. Is it outrageous to expect a medal? Should people like me be happy with the ‘best’ efforts put in?

At the end of the day, another human being (not an alien or genetically engineered sports aligned human) won! But not from India.


Rishi Arya

Author. Content Writer. Story-Teller.

“Always Yours” – Book available on Amazon, Kindle and Flipkart.