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  • Writer's pictureAbhishek Verma

Lost and Defeated, but who are we to judge? India's Olympics 2021

Updated: Mar 21, 2023

During 2008’s Beijing Olympics, India had to settle for only three medals during the whole campaign. Later in 2012’s London Olympics, India showed some progress and bagged a total of six medals. However, again during 2016’s Rio Olympics, India failed to impress and managed to get only two medals.

Hence, the world’s second most populated nation currently holds the record of lowest medals per head in the Olympics. As it stands, India’s performance in Tokyo Olympics hasn’t been great so far either.

But, if you were expecting India to at least grab double digits medals, then might end up getting more disappointed only. Despite an early silver medal from Mirabai Chanu, the overall performance of Indian athletes hasn’t been great.

On the other hand, athletes like Manu Bhaker and Manika Batra fought hard, but as it's said 'every cloud has a silver lining'. Due to such performances, some ‘sports enthusiasts’ and ‘die-hard fans’ of our country showed their disappointment in this way:

While we understand that the anger through these tweets aren’t directed towards our athletes, but is it entirely the government’s fault? Hence, one question which indeed appears is that, “Who are we to judge?” As crazy sports fans, many of us were worried about IPL’s restarting schedule, excited about India’s draw with Pakistan in T20 World Cup Groups, and happy about Rahul Dravid being selected as “New India’s” coach. Moreover, during the whole of 2020 and early months of 2021, when COVID-19 was at its peak, most of us sports fans were criticizing the hosting of the IPL tournament and worried about their health.

The sad and ultimate truth is that most of us fans or media platforms never thought about our athletes' preparations for the Olympics or their mental health.

Example of Dutee Chand

Dutee Chand
Source: The New Indian Express

Indeed, Cricket or any other sports event isn’t the enemy of the Olympics, but if we’re going to play the blame game, then we must look at ourselves too. While it’s easy to blame SAI or the current government, the truth is that these athletes had only SAI’s support when it was needed the most.

But, unluckily, no one is perfect, and it implies to our governing bodies too. In 2014, Dutee Chand had to fight for the body she was born with as the Athletics Federation of India asked her to lower the testosterone levels or face the permanent ban. However, Dutee Chand never agreed to this decision and added ‘I’m not changing for anyone.’

Later, Dutee challenged the IAAF’s rule in the Court of Arbitration for Sport and got the decision overturned. Then in 2019, Dutee became India’s first athlete to win the gold medal in 100m event at the World Universiade, Naples.

On 30 July 2021, Dutee Chand will participate in Women’s 100m Round 1 Heats at 08:10 AM (IST). Luckily, if Sony Network decides to telecast this event, millions of fans will undoubtedly cheer for her and hope for a better performance. However, if, due to any reason, Dutee fails to qualify for the next round, then please do not post a blatant or horrendous dig on anyone.

We can only learn from here…

Mirabai Chanu
Source: The Indian Express

Now if we can’t blame someone or show our disappointment by posting a misleading statement, what else can we do? So here’s what can we do:

“Recently, many of us have seen a social media post talking about how our school/colleges allow us to enjoy sports period only for 30 minutes. While it’s not wrong to blame the curriculum, we can also start with blaming ourselves. We can question ourselves if, as fans, we’re passionate enough about these sporting events or not. If not, then what do we need to change, and how can we inspire the upcoming generations.”

Please do not run social campaigns against telecasting channels only during a major event like the Olympics or the Commonwealth Games. But, ask them to telecast the state or national-level trials of your country’s athletes. Do not post their pictures or write kind words only when they’re winning the medals. But, show your appreciation when someone else is questioning their intent.

As things currently stand, we expect our country to win a few more medals in the upcoming events. Moreover, the hopes are undoubtedly very high from Mary Kom, PV Sindhu, Vinesh Phogat, and Deepak Punia.

On the other hand, the excellent pair of Arvind Singh and Arjun Lal Jat has already qualified for the semi-finals round. However, the Indian rowers will have to face pretty tough competition from here, but nothing is impossible when billions of hearts pray for your success.

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