Friday, October 7, 2016

Editorial, "OUR COUNTRY AT THE OLYMPICS," in LAW ANIMATED WORLD, 31 August 2016, Vol. 12, Part 2, No. 16 issue


Our country, even since under the colonial rule, has been almost continuously participating in the World Olympics, since 1920 in the team events; even in the very Second Olympics at Paris in 1900, Norman Gilbert Pritchard (1877-1929), Indian-born athlete of British parentage from Calcutta, our lone contestant, won two silver medals. Real triumph for our country was secured by our super-talented Hockey team, especially by the legendary [Maj.] Dhyan Chand. During 1928-1956 our Hockey team won 6 successive gold medals. The Berlin Olympics in 1936 is a memorable landmark, when the F├╝hrer himself would get enchanted by our Hockey Wizard Dhyan Chand and offer him a top post in the German Army if he consented to play for Germany, which the patriotic player so politely declined. But this greatest field hockey player of all time has not been given the topmost national award though a much junior/younger talenter in another game, which is not even an Olympic event, was adorned with Bharat Ratna due to patently political reasons. In all the Olympics we participated so far, we could only secure 9 Gold Medals with the last in 2008 with Abhinav Bhindra winning it in air rifle shooting. It is regrettable that in Athletics/Gymnastics we rarely won any medals, and it is to the credit of our Telugu girl Karanam Malleswari that we could get a bronze medal in weightlifting in 2000 Olympics, making her the first Indian woman to win an Olympic medal. Now we are all proud of another Telugu girl P.V. Sindhu bagging the Rio Olympic Silver in Badminton. Our total tally is just 9G+7S+12B = 28 medals in all these Olympics. Compare this to the tally of 100 medals of our neighbor China in the Beijing Olympics 2008 alone, where they also stood as World No. 1. In contrast to us, China has been participating in both Summer and Winter Olympics since the 1980 Winter and 1984 Summer Olympics only, but already its total tally in Summer Olympics is a whooping 201G+146S+126B = 473 up to 2012 – a spectacular achievement with which we have to compare our dismal performances, and try to catch up even to some 10% extent. Truly, in our country where there are no playgrounds in most of the schools, even that would be an insuperable task but what should we do is to provide the basic infrastructure for and fulfill the basic needs of the people, especially the youths, instead of declaring whimsical rewards at public cost for the stray winners; of course, they deserve all encouragement no doubt but not such political pampering. And such winners too, receiving the astronomical gift amounts now, may hopefully try to emulate Usain Bolt of Jamaica, who selflessly donated several million dollars from his earnings to his alma mater to promote the cause and conditions of sports in his country. §§§

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