Saturday, August 18, 2012

London Olympics-Should India be really proud of it?

On the offset of world’s largest democratic country-India’s 66th Independence Day I want to contrive some light on our performance on recently commenced London Olympics 2012.

Now that the Olympics are done and dusted for another four years, the question must be asked-Was India’s performance in London Olympics best? Should we really be gratified with what we got? Or is my thinking completely unwarranted?

India is a huge nation. 2nd in terms of population, 2nd in telecom connections, 2nd in labour force, 4th in GDP, PPP [purchasing power parity], 5th in terms of electricity production, 5th cultural diversity index within country,  6th in total reserves [gold] and 9th in GDP. Among the fastest developing economies and future developed nation.


London Olympics, 2012 commenced from 27th July, 2012 to 12th August, 2012.
This Olympic gave India most medals of all the Olympics held since its first appearance of India in Paris Olympics, 1900-A gigantic tally of 6!!
Six medallists among 83 participating athletes.
Two Silver, each in shooting and wrestling. And four bronze, one each in badminton and boxing and two in shooting and wrestling.
Respective state government authorities endowed all medal winning athletes with crores [10 million] of rupees.
But was this the point of accumulation for India?
I guess NO.

India 55th in medal tally.

Population is an over-rated medal factor. Olympics powerhouse i.e. China (1) and US (3) are two of world’s most populated countries but contrary to it India (2), Indonesia (4), Pakistan (6) with so much talent are hardly noticeable on medal chart. Countries like India (cricket) and Brazil (soccer) concentrate n narrow spectrum of sports. May be that’s another reason behind this medal drought.

As per Zee News India spent 123 crore and as per indiaspend.com expenditure incurred on preparation for Olympics and sending teams and officials comprising of 136 persons (81 athletes, 8 doctors/physiotherapists/masseurs and 9 other) was
135.60 crore of which 18 crore were on Hockey Team.
Which was like mere one crore on each individual!!!!

Indian athletes have always suffered for funds and world-class infrastructure since Olympics continuance.
But this year world’s richest Indian Mr. Lakshmi Mittal spent a whooping 66 crore ($ 12 million) from his Mittal Champions Trust for the athletes. And in an interview he even said that he will happy if India doubles the Gold count since its last Olympics (Beijing Olympics-one)!!
But versus that expectation India came empty handed and not even accumulated a single Gold. Instead countries like Mexico, Uganda, Lativa, Algeria, Bahamas and Ethiopia won more Gold than us. And we ended five position lower than Beijing Olympics. 55th one.
Not indeed a nice medal tally for wannabe super-power!!

Even Sahara Group is spending over 25 crore per annum on sports and athletes.
So at least money is not the issue for Indian athletes.
Moreover every medallist is crorepati by now as a reward for medals.
Surely India is facing medal drought since commencement of modern Olympics. But this can surely be adjudicated.

India needs a strong infrastructure for same and cacoethes should be initiated in cradle.
Effective participation might play an important factor. Effective participation in fact is the percentage of total population of India which actually have direct participation in India’s sporting events and activities. So, despite giant population India’s effective participation is abysmally low. If base is small, peak is surely going to be short.

Surely India has a long-run to go to stand in top medal winning countries. And I am with positive mindset that India will surely shine in Rio de Janeiro, 2016!
Sushil Kumar, Gagan Narang, Mary Com, Saina Nehwal, Yogeshwar Dutt and Vijay Kumar
[left to right] with Indis's PM Manmohan Singh
Cheers for India. :) :)

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Keywords: gagan narang, GDP, gold medal, india, london olympics, manmohan singh, mary com, position, rio de janeiro, saina nehwal, sonia gandhi, sushil kumar, vijay kumar, yogeshwa datta