In Search of a medal

Abhinav Bindra’s gold medal last week in the Beijing olympics made every Indian proud. But if we consider that this was our first such medal in 28 years makes us kind of sad. The rest of the Indian contingent have not fared that great in the games this year and it seems like we will end up with just one medal this year too. When we see that China who have a population of almost similar proportions to India leading the medals tally makes us wonder where we are going wrong.

I would have thought before the games began that India’s best chance for a Olympic medal this year would be the doubles combination of Leander and Mahesh. Them crashing out in the quarterfinals and Sania crashing out too have dashed India’s hope of a second medal. We had few others giving us some hope like Saina in badminton and Akhil in boxing but both of them crashed out before entering the medal rounds. The basic issue in Indian sports is lack of sponsership and encouragement for the athletes.

The fact that the Indian hockey team did not even qualify for the games points us to a much larger issue. It seems like the sports in India other than cricket is facing a slow death if the respective boards are not careful about it. Indian athletes have always struggled and the reason for the same is that they cannot take that as a profession as people from other countries can. They dont have proper sponsership and training facilities required for them to excel and compete at world level.

If the boards and various committees in India dont take action soon then India would become a one sport nation which it kind of already is. Getting a gold medal in Olympics is great but not knowing where the next medal would come from is not that encouraging for Indian sports. India needs heroes for the people to follow in other sports. The olympic games come and go but we dont stop wondering as to where the next medal is going to come from. The nation of 1 billion people and just one medal. Micheal Phelps of USA has taken 8 medals all by himself. As I write this article there are couple more chances for India in Boxing in the coming days to get the second medal for the country. As the nation searches for its second medal, I just hope that something is done to revive the other sports in India.

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