The Great Indian Olympic Saga
Glimpse|September 2016

India at the Olympics 2016 at Rio de Janeiro, was a mixed bag of unexpected successes, big disappointments, new star icons, a bag full of controversies, the big political tamasha and a lot more to chew on…

Disney Brar

Olympics is a big deal, yes it is.Talk about more than 10,500 athletes from 206 national Olympic committees which this time also included the debutantes Kosovo and South Sudan, competing for 306 sets of medals in 28 Olympic sports which includes events like hockey, tennis, archery, shooting, rowing, badminton, athletics, discus, boxing, weight-lifting, swimming, judo, wrestling, table tennis and golf amongst others. This year India had sent the biggest ever contingent to Rio which included 118 players all the best in their game.

Let’s get onto why India is not happy about the Rio Olympics 2016 at large. Star archers, shooters and men’s/women’s hockey teams had to face defeat. Abhinav Bindra, missed his medal by a whisker after he accidently broke his shooting gun before his crucial match. Well, call it a bad luck for him since he could not seal his glorious career by winning a medal for India. Bindra called it quits after losing the match. Nevertheless.

Kudos to the girl power

The motto of the Olympics this time was citius, altius, fortius which stands for being faster, higher and stronger and if there is anyone who is showing the world what the words stands for, literally are our girls at the Olympics. Please forgive me if I sound like a feminist but what I can’t stop myself from going gaga over is the fact that the saving grace for India at the Olympics this time around were the daughters of this country. The jinx of being medal less for more than 11 days after the event started was broken by the gritty 23 year old Sakshi Malik who won a bronze in the 58 kg women’s free style wrestling event and is the first woman wrestler from India to have achieved this feat. After which our golden girl PV Sindhu won a silver medal for India. Another star which the Olympics saw was Dipa Karmakar who attained the fourth position in the women’s vault gymnastics event and created history with a score of 15.066. This was a feat which was unseen before in the history of the Indian Olympics. Well the poor girl wasn’t even allowed to take her physiotherapist along to the games till the time she managed to enter the finals of her event. Then came Lalita Babar who became the first athlete to compete in the finals after 1984. Aditi Ashok is another golfer who managed to enter the final round in the game. Not to miss the mention of Vinesh Phogat who was just a fight away from winning a medal when she broke her ligament in her quarterfinal bout against a Chinese wrestler and had to quit midway.

Most of these women players do not belong to wealthy and urban families who provide them with the best of facilities neither do they belong to areas which provides them with the best of infrastructure to practice for their game. While a majority belong to Haryana, a state which is notorious for its reputation of killing the girl child, besides having a sex ratio of 876:1000, the rest come from humble backgrounds, belonging to families from the lower economic strata’s. Talking about Haryana one can’t help but laud the historic success of Sakshi Malik who defied all odds and stood against the conservative patriarchal society to achieve her dreams.

Shobha nahi deta!

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